To Heaven and Back

  • by Mary C. Neal
  • Narrated by Rebecca Lowman
  • 4 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A kayak accident during a South American adventure takes one woman to heaven — where she experienced God’s peace, joy, and angels — and back to life again.
In 1999 in the Los Rios region of southern Chile, orthopedic surgeon, devoted wife, and loving mother Dr. Mary Neal drowned in a kayak accident. While cascading down a waterfall, her kayak became pinned at the bottom and she was immediately and completely submerged. Despite the rescue efforts of her companions, Mary was underwater for too long, and as a result, died.
To Heaven and Back is Mary’s remarkable story of her life’s spiritual journey and what happened as she moved from life to death to eternal life, and back again. Detailing her feelings and surroundings in heaven, her communication with angels, and her deep sense of sadness when she realized it wasn’t her time, Mary shares the captivating experience of her modern-day miracle.
Mary’s life has been forever changed by her newfound understanding of her purpose on earth, her awareness of God, her closer relationship with Jesus, and her personal spiritual journey suddenly enhanced by a first-hand experience in heaven. To Heaven and Back will reacquaint you with the hope, wonder, and promise of heaven, while enriching you own faith and walk with God.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A Narcisists Legendary Tale

What would have made To Heaven and Back better?

Leave out personal religious and political beliefs.

Would you ever listen to anything by Mary C. Neal again?


How did the narrator detract from the book?

She did not focus on the title of the book. What draws the reader to the book is the title and the promise of hearing a story of angels and life after death from a medical doctor's perspective. She focused instead on her personal accomplishments here on earth. We learn mostly that she is highly educated, well traveled, a world class athlete, and of course a perfect mother.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

I just finished the book, and was so disappointed. I purchased it because I lost my sister recently and wanted something uplifting.
I was surprised to discover there is very little in this book about death, heaven, and angels.

The book is mostly comprised of Dr. Neil's narcissistic rantings about her accomplishments in life (beginning in childhood) and religious/political beliefs.
It's almost like reading someone's journal. She seems to be ego tripping all over herself throughout the book. By halfway through the book, I'm thinking, OK, we get it, you are a brilliant, highly educated, cultured, world class athlete, all the while being the perfect parent.

It's ironic that she says she embraces "finding joy" every day in her life. I "find" that hard to believe if her book is any indication. The entire book is bleak, depressing, and dark, even when she is describing what should be a happy experience.

I'm a religious person, and even I grew tired of the constant interjection of her torturous and redundant perspective on religion and faith. There are countless numbers of quotes and readings from the bible. One might start to wonder if she was using them as filler.

Despite all of the good doctors success in life, the reader will likely get the strong impression that Dr. Neil feels like she has endured many injustices throughout her life.

Welcome to life here on earth Dr. Neil!

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- podant "monicacato"

Christian witness for the most part

It strength and weakness is that the book is primarily a Christian witness. I purchased the book out of curiosity about the NDE The book advertises. However, the book spends very little time on the NDE. Most of the book is Dr. Neal's life story, with an emphasis on how God has touched her life.

It was enjoyable for the most part but the marketing was misleading.

The narrator did a fine job.
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- Richard D. Shewman "rshewman"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-29-2012
  • Publisher: Random House Audio