"The eternal question - what happens when we die? Is there a consequence from how we lived? Is there a reckoning? Henry Ashton's turbulent life is at an end. As he moves on from this world, he discovers how elusive the final peace can be. With a spirit companion by his side, Henry learns there can be no peace without reconciliation, no rest without acceptance. He must walk his own path to absolution. For some souls the transition from mortal life to eternal peace is an easy one, soon completed. For others, who have been troubled in their life or who cannot reconcile the events and their part in them, the journey is longer...and harder. But every soul will find its rest."
'Oh Henry had so many more questions for this so-called last friend of his existence'
In films it is often portrayed that before someone dies, they see a ‘highlights' reel or their 'best bits'. But what if we didn’t just see the good bits? What if we saw the mistakes we made and got to make peace. It is in human nature to dwell on the negatives. Henry believes he doesn’t deserve joy and instead hasn’t really made peace with his internal anger and fear. However, reversed he regrets his fears and wishes for more joy. In this novel, we visit Henry. Henry has died and has to come to closure with certain events throughout his life, in an attempt to move on and ‘rest in peace’. Guided by a very loveable character by the name ‘Chuttlewizz’ we go on this journey through death and spirituality with Henry.
A theme throughout the novel that has really stuck with me and that I think is my personal highlight, is the idea that after we die, our souls have to be placed together, bit by bit and have to be ‘whole’ before we can move on. I think it reflects how everyone feels about dying, we all want to leave the world happy and loved. Rectifying mistakes and not regretting anything before we die, is most people’s biggest wish. The idea that perhaps, you shouldn’t wait until after you have died, but instead fix things as you go and not let them burden you through your life - life is for living. When you’re dead there is nothing you can change.
'One way or another, he knew he needed to move on. He looked at the waiting Chuttlewizz and nodded'.
I look forward to reading what is next from this very thought provoking author! It was such an original concept and very soul-searching.
Poignant, at times funny and really makes you consider that no one knows what happens after we die. ‘Into the Summerland’ is the book you need to read to make you think. Perfect for fans of ‘How to Stop Time' by Matt Haig, this cleverly crafted conundrum will have you considering everything spiritual, anything to do with the afterlife, and if you too could have a guide like Chuttlewizz.