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Thursday, January 1, 2015

#REVIEW: Conversations with Blanchie by Mark F Wise


Title: Conversations With Blanchie
Series: none
Author:  Mark Wise
Published Date: July 1, 2014
Publisher: self-published
Format: ebook
Pages: 120
ISBN: 9780615974491
Genre: afterlife fiction
Add to: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon

Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis: Hello, my friends! Do you believe in love at first sight? Have you ever wondered about the Afterlife: what it's like, what are Heaven and Hell like; will we see our family, friends and pets again? Have you ever pondered who God and the Holy Trinity are; does each religion have its own god; who are Mary, the saints and the angels; who is the devil? Ever wondered about Creation versus Evolution? This unique novel, "Conversations with Blanchie," is loosely written from a Catholic perspective and discusses all of these issues and many more in a tender, humorous and often emotional approach. "Conversations with Blanchie" is actually 90% autobiographical for me, Mark F. Wise. Bob and Blanchie sat on their park bench in San Luis Obispo, California every morning before work for 71 years, discussing the above issues and many more. Blanchie dies and goes to Heaven, but she and Bob soon discover that they can continue their morning discussions on the very same bench! Blanchie tries to answer their 71 year old questions from Heaven, attempting to de-mystify them. Conversations with Blanchie is a roller coaster of emotions, featuring the ups and downs of Bob and Blanchie's 71 year marriage, their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, the sadness of Blanchie's death and Bob's "penchant for puns!" I hope that you enjoy "Blanchie;" I wrote it with a lot of love and emotion! In fact, the character of Blanchie is based on my late mother, Kathryn Claire "Speeder" Wise. I believe that no other work of fiction or non-fiction has addressed as many of these tough issues, ones that everyone of any religion or lack thereof has pondered all their lives! 

My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from the author.
This book is a wonderful love story about an elderly couple, right after the wife’s death. Through some sort of fluke, the wife, Blanchie, is able to converse with her living husband, Bob, as long as he sits at the bench they sat at every day for 70+ years. During these conversations, we are brought into their story: the romantic whirlwind relationship that led up to their amazingly long-lived marriage, the lives (and deaths of their children), as well as the special moments that made this marriage last so long.
It is during these conversations that we are shown an afterlife that is very different from the afterlife I think most have imagined. It is also different than the afterlife that Blanchie imagined as well. The conversations barely skim the tips of the questions that are presented, and left me feeling bummed. However, reality is that we don’t know the answers to these questions, so it is smart that the author didn’t give any hard answers, in order to avoid preaching his own ideas of the afterlife,

The ending was expected, I know I kept waiting for it. I think I would have been disappointed if it didn’t end the way it did.

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