I never read the Nie Nie Dialogues blog until my sister told me about it - that was right after the blogger named Stephanie Nielson and her husband Christian nearly died in a private plane crash. I was so moved by this story - of her four young children left behind and cared for by her sisters while she fought for life in a burn unit. It touched a deep part of me, she and I lived similar enough lives as Mormon stay-at-home moms that I found myself thinking of her often, of what she'd nearly lost and what I took for granted.
This book, Heaven is Here, is essentially her story - her life up through about a year after the plane crash. It's written in a very casual style - she is candid and very honest about both how hard things were and how amazingly blessed and incredible her life was (and is). I initially tried listening to the audiobook but I found myself very distracted by the narration and so I switched to the paper book, which was a good choice. And, actually, I just found myself vaguely frustrated by the first third of the book. Maybe she was just trying to get across how wonderful her life was before the crash, so we could appreciate how unexpected this was, but it sometimes felt like she was bragging to me. I'm also super impatient with dialogue in memoirs because I always am distracted by thinking that people never really remember exactly how a conversation went (always, always my problem with memoirs and I recognize this is a personal problem with me and memoirs, not this book in particular).
However, despite it being a little hard for me to get into it, I did find myself very engrossed by the final 2/3, where she and Christian have to slowly recover and put a new kind of life back together. I cried my eyes out over her journey to reconnect with her kids. Of all the parts of the book, that touched me the deepest. As a mom myself, I can only imagine how deep the hurt would go if I felt like my ability to mother or that relationship with my children was somehow damaged and the road to repairing it was so hard. She inspired me with her efforts and how far she came in such a short time. I think she is a great role model for anyone who has had to slog through incredible challenges.