Customer Reviews for

To Heaven and Back: A Doctor's Extraordinary Account of Her Death, Heaven, Angels, and Life Again: A True Story

Average Rating 4
( 296 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(145)

4 Star

(64)

3 Star

(34)

2 Star

(22)

1 Star

(31)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

132 out of 139 people found this review helpful.

AMAZING READ! While reading Dr Neal's book I kept coming back to

AMAZING READ!
While reading Dr Neal's book I kept coming back to that line from Hamlet: "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

This book isn't a cozy read - parts are downright excruciating to hear and di...
AMAZING READ!
While reading Dr Neal's book I kept coming back to that line from Hamlet: "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

This book isn't a cozy read - parts are downright excruciating to hear and difficult to imagine. It can't be easy for her to tell it, except for a strange grace she was given. I imagine that folks who read it to with an eye to validating a firmly-held dogmatic religious or agnostic position will be irritated. She isn't proselytizing or lecturing or apologizing - she is simply relaying the facts of her own strange tale with an unadorned, almost surgical precision. In thinking about it, that's precisely the power of this book - Dr Neal is a hard person to dismiss. She doesn't seem fanciful or eccentric or disenfranchised or neurotic or a religious fanatic or needy or any of the traits I had expected. Her voice rings out unusually clear and fresh, cool and concise. It's because of this, even more than her impressive resume, that I find her credible.

The actual tale is emotionally moving, occasionally disturbing, spiritually and intellectually challenging. At the end of it I find myself with a delicious sense of wonder that life is more beautiful than we can conceive, that there is more going on than anyone can imagine, that God is impossible to wrap into a tidy, presentable box because our ideas about Him are too cramped and small. Ultimately I was left with a sense that life is incredibly important and should be honored, and I have an ever-growing hope that our loved ones are near, that we will see them again and that all is well, here and there. What a powerful read!

posted by PattiChristensen on June 1, 2012

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

96 out of 155 people found this review helpful.

I must preface this review by stating that I am a bible believin

I must preface this review by stating that I am a bible believing Christian. I believe that salvation is for those who call Jesus Christ Lord, and is available to all who do. I received this book with the understanding that it is a "Christian" read, however, n...
I must preface this review by stating that I am a bible believing Christian. I believe that salvation is for those who call Jesus Christ Lord, and is available to all who do. I received this book with the understanding that it is a "Christian" read, however, not only was I was terribly disappointed in it being labeled as such, I was incredibly disturbed by the doctrine presented.

I do believe after having read this book that Mary had a supernatural experience and passed over the threshold from life to death, and being a believer in Christ, which she openly acknowledges, I am certain she was destined to live out all of her eternity in Heaven. However, it seemed as though she believed this to be the case for all who pass from life to death, and even mentions in the book that if the person who passed did not have saving faith upon death, then the gate would be an opportunity to then "choose God, or to turn away-for eternity" (pg73). I felt like much of the book was simply impious, distasteful and I found myself sorry that it was available to people who do not know Jesus, as I felt this book written to assure everyone that what Mary experienced will be the norm for everyone, as she makes no clear assertion otherwise; meaning she never once connects her belief in Jesus Christ to her being ushered to Heaven's gate. She refers only to God, not Christ, in whom salvation comes through. It is obvious that this book was written to be palatable to everyone, because most believe in a"higher power", but the name Jesus always seems to ruffle some feathers.

Mysticism was also interwoven in much of her recollections throughout this book: she communicated with an angel through an owl, a woman's deceased husband spoke to her in a dream in order to warn Mary about being careful(after the accident had already happened),and trees supernaturally blooming just to name a few. There was heavier emphasis on these signs and presence of angels than on the Lord God himself.

The most disturbing thing for me to read in this book was Mary's use of the name Jesus and "the angel" interchangeably when referring to lucid dreams/visions she had while in the hospital.

One day when I meet Jesus, as any Christian can attest themselves, I should know for certain when I am in the presence of my King, and should hope if anything to worship at His feet in complete love and adoration, not carry on a casual conversation with him, uncertain of who he was exactly.

As a follower of Jesus Christ I found this book to be a terrible representation of Christian doctrine, and believe it to be damaging to the progression of the Gospel, giving people a reason to rest easy while they are here, and worry about eternity when they get there.

John 14:6
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing group has provided me with this book complimentary for review purposes.

posted by colivos on July 1, 2012

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 145 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 8
  • Posted June 1, 2012

    AMAZING READ! While reading Dr Neal's book I kept coming back to

    AMAZING READ!
    While reading Dr Neal's book I kept coming back to that line from Hamlet: "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

    This book isn't a cozy read - parts are downright excruciating to hear and difficult to imagine. It can't be easy for her to tell it, except for a strange grace she was given. I imagine that folks who read it to with an eye to validating a firmly-held dogmatic religious or agnostic position will be irritated. She isn't proselytizing or lecturing or apologizing - she is simply relaying the facts of her own strange tale with an unadorned, almost surgical precision. In thinking about it, that's precisely the power of this book - Dr Neal is a hard person to dismiss. She doesn't seem fanciful or eccentric or disenfranchised or neurotic or a religious fanatic or needy or any of the traits I had expected. Her voice rings out unusually clear and fresh, cool and concise. It's because of this, even more than her impressive resume, that I find her credible.

    The actual tale is emotionally moving, occasionally disturbing, spiritually and intellectually challenging. At the end of it I find myself with a delicious sense of wonder that life is more beautiful than we can conceive, that there is more going on than anyone can imagine, that God is impossible to wrap into a tidy, presentable box because our ideas about Him are too cramped and small. Ultimately I was left with a sense that life is incredibly important and should be honored, and I have an ever-growing hope that our loved ones are near, that we will see them again and that all is well, here and there. What a powerful read!

    132 out of 139 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 1, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    Amazing Story! I found this book inspiring and compelling. Dr.

    Amazing Story!
    I found this book inspiring and compelling. Dr. Mary Neal brings a scientific and logical mind to a number of events that reveal that God is alive and well in this world, and in the next. She describes in a straight forward and unembellished voice her near death experience and other life events that both challenged her and convinced her that God has a plan for each of us. She does not push a particular religious or political agenda, but rather attempts to relay what she has learned from her very unique experiences. She's a messenger who will help answer some of the questions we've all pondered about God and the existence of Heaven. You cannot read this book without believing that, with God, all things are possible.

    56 out of 61 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2012

    Highly Recommended- This is a must read!

    If you are looking for a book that will uplift your faith and make you evaluate the divine pattern of your life, this book is for you. Dr. Neal tells the story of her divine experience with beautiful detail and even humor. This book is not heavy on biblical verse (thankfully) but does incorporate some scripture without slowing down the pace of the narrative. This is a story of an extraordinary human who has an even more extraordinary afterlife experience. She sends a message in her story that all of us are special to God and God has a plan for all of us. We need to pay attention to this plan. This book is a part of it.

    45 out of 51 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 7, 2012

    Dr. Neal puts her real life experiences into a book that is fasc

    Dr. Neal puts her real life experiences into a book that is fascinating, exceptional and spiritual. If you don't believe in the higher powers above...you will after you read this! Guaranteed! Previously posted reviews that are anything less than this don't get it. Dr. Neal is not trying to tell you about God or push her religious beliefs on you. She's tells of Faith, Hope and Love. When you find these you will find God. Finding God is up to you....God is there, you just have to know when he's talking to you. Once you lose a child, you too will know that Faith, Hope and Love is all you have left in this world. Great read.

    28 out of 29 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 3, 2012

    Excellent.

    This is certainly one of the best books I've read on near death experiences. Dr. Neal does a tremendous job of relaying the details and importance of her accident vis a vis its spiritual dimensions. As I read the book, I kept thinking: "Dr. Neal has a very similar view to mine on life and the afterlife." Some people will find fault with anything, particularly if it isn't cloaked in the expected trappings of evangelical subculture, but Dr. Neal clearly espouses orthodox Christianity, as she interprets the drama in Chile and its lessons for a daily walk with Jesus Christ.

    23 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 2, 2012

    I find it interesting that my only complaint is the last persons

    I find it interesting that my only complaint is the last persons statement of Lack! I found this an extremely uplifting book that helped reinforce my spiritual belief system. As a Hospice Nurse and a 12 step person I have had many experiences of miracles in the last 25 years and still find it helpful to have them reinforced from others. I would recommend this book to anyone who is having any doubts about their connection with a Higher Power (or God if you prefer). To my only complaint - it would be the "Christian" focus. Though I did not find it so troublesome that I wouldn't recommend the book to people who may not share that focus!

    20 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 4, 2012

    Each person that goes on and has the opportunity to return, can

    Each person that goes on and has the opportunity to return, can have a very different experience. We essentially should be open and not rely on our pre-trained knowledge of the afterlife, no matter what religious or non religious backgorund we have.

    12 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2012

    5 Stars

    Extraordinary.

    8 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 19, 2012

    Dr. Neal has crafted a beautiful testimony of God's unconditiona

    Dr. Neal has crafted a beautiful testimony of God's unconditional love and purpose for every person. Her story is easy to read, and I finished it in one sitting. As some reviewers have commented, while I at first expected more details of her trip to heaven and what she saw and heard, I feel her emphasis on God's plan for each of us and how events and people are all interconnected is something we can all be encouraged and blessed by. I have never had a NDE, but I have personally experienced visions and miracles in my life. I believe everyone experiences miracles and "God touches" but not everyone recognizes them when they occur. Dr. Neal's honest account of her life and family before and after her NDE is a powerful reminder that God never leaves our side. Her book illustrates how we only see "in part" and that God has a bigger, eternal tapestry which He is lovingly weaving with each of our lives. To Heaven and Back is comforting and refreshing - like a drink of cool water - yet at the same time, a gentle reminder to be about God's business every day by loving Him and loving those He places in our life. I believe this book will lead readers to be more open and "tuned in" to the myriad ways God is guiding them and leading them back to Him.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2012

    Buy this book!!! I did and I read it and i loved it- I couldn't

    Buy this book!!! I did and I read it and i loved it- I couldn't hardly put it down. I was inspired to read about her heavenly experience and that is only one part of this book. Reading about how God has directed her in her life was also fascinating to read about. The author's life and her family's life has not been a bed of roses and reading about that and how Jesus put people in her life to comfort her is beautiful! That is how Jesus works, nothing in life is a coincidence!! I recommended this book already to alot of people and have passed on the book to someone else to read. It really is a great book!!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 10, 2012

    Honest, down to Earth and written exceptionally well. I highly r

    Honest, down to Earth and written exceptionally well. I highly recommend this book to anyone. Although Dr. Neal's background is Christian, she is not at all preachy or exclusive in her thinking. To the contrary, she does a wonderful job communicating the fact that we all belong to God and are all welcome to His love and joy. I found this book to be reassuring and celebratory. It inspires me to take whatever circumstances I have at any moment, find the goodness around me and share it with others. Five stars.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2012

    Highly recommended

    If you are curious about life in general and our purpose here on earth this is a satisfying read. Mary Neal, faced with heartbreaking and life changing events shows character and spiritual strength most of us can only imagine. A very fast read that stays with you. Thought provoking.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 3, 2012

    "To Heaven and Back" by Mary C. Neal is an absolutely

    "To Heaven and Back" by Mary C. Neal is an absolutely fascinating book about life, death, and eternal life. Mary Neal wrote this book as a sort of autobiography of her amazing experience when she died in a tragic kayaking accident. After she technically died, she describes her interaction with angels and in Heaven before she is returned to her Earthly home. I thought that this book was written beautifully - Mary tells the honest story of her life, the accident, her experiences as her spirit left her body, and her life after she was sent back to her life. What I found most interesting was her descriptions of Heaven, and her memories of that experience. She describes the great hall she saw with such beauty and energy, and then she felt such great sadness at having to be returned to her body because her time on Earth was not yet over. I thought this book was interesting, and I really enjoyed it, from cover to cover. It is very well written, and I would recommend this to anyone - man, woman, student, Christian, non-Christian.. I believe that anyone could benefit from Mary's story. I would give this book a 5/5!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2013

    I bought the audio book last winter and we really enjoyed it. I

    I bought the audio book last winter and we really enjoyed it. I study meditation and spirituality. This book was written more for the common folk who may go to church but don't practice spirituality. The Dr gives a lot of background about her life which is rather common and supports the extraordinary event that happened to her. I loaned it to someone and don't remember who. I want to loan it to my 85 yr old neighbor who is not religious but interested. So I may purchase a second copy.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2012

    Easy Read

    I found this book inspiring. I couldn't put it down. It was easy to follow and very well written. It reminded me of The Shack which I recommend if you enjoy this.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 14, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    Page Turner!

    This book was incredible! It starts with a few anecdotes of previous "divine intervention" experiences of the writer but then gets into the crazy story of how she died for several minutes and her experience on the other side. I don't consider myself a "religious" person because of the associated dogma, but I am a very spiritual person and love hearing stories of personal experiences with God and other spiritual beings. This book was hard to put down for me, as I found every moment truly captivating and enticing. It's also compelling support for spiritual experiences we may encounter everyday but perhaps don't pay attention to. Overall, I would highly recommend this book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2013

    AWESOME

    This book is the best and the most iteresting book I have ever read.but I think they should lower the cost.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2013

    Very inspiring.

    This is a keeper in my active files under "Read again - inspirational. Thanks for writing this wonderful story.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2013

    This is an amazing testimony! I could not put this book down. It

    This is an amazing testimony! I could not put this book down. It is truly inspirational and I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to read it! 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2013

    Remarkable book.

    Hopefully the fact that this book was written by a highly educated person will attract some readers who might otherwise dismiss such an account. It is interesting that several books about Heaven have been written recently, from children's experiences to doctors' experiences. God reaches whom He chooses.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 145 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 8