The Things We Learn When We’re Dead by Charlie Laidlaw #bookreview


With elements of The Wizard of Oz, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and The Lovely Bones, The Things We Learn When We’re Dead shows how small decisions can have profound and unintended consequences, and how sometimes we can get a second chance.

On the way home from a dinner party, Lorna Love steps into the path of an oncoming car. When she wakes up she is in what appears to be a hospital – but a hospital in which her nurse looks like a young Sean Connery, she is served wine for supper, and everyone avoids her questions. It soon transpires that she is in Heaven, or on HVN. Because HVN is a lost, dysfunctional spaceship, and God the aging hippy captain. She seems to be there by accident… Or does God have a higher purpose after all?

At first Lorna can remember nothing. As her memories return – some good, some bad – she realises that she has decision to make and that maybe she needs to find a way home.

Out now!

Published by Accent Press

Author on Twitter;  @claidlawauthor

Author website;


Amazon UK – buy online and support your local bookstore

Book Depository



I always like it when I don’t know what to expect from a book and it surprises me in a positive way, and that is exactly how  feel now after reading this one and am amazed how such an unassuming story really connected with me so much!

Lorna Love is training to be a lawyer, but her life plan suffers a major setback when she is hit by a car and finds herself in hospital but this  is no ordinary hospital and soon she is being introduced to the facility known as HVN!  This facility though is also a spaceship where you can choose to look like whoever you choose – there are many famous faces she meets throughout – and the captain is God who is not like how you think he should be!

Lorna is then faced then with her memories slowly returning and through these flashbacks  you see how her life has progressed from childhood through to adulthood, and some of it made for unpleasant viewing from her perspective, but as a reader it was fascinating to see how her choices had shaped the person she became.  She needs to figure out the reason why she is there in HVN as God tells her that everyone is at this facility for a reason.

She is left questioning all that she knew and seeing things differently from the benefit of hindsight, and it was such a touching look back at a life especially when looking at her family time from holidays to losing people close to her. It delves into her self doubt, career choices, friendships and how your place in the world can disappear so quickly.

I found this to be quite deep in places, alongside being a fun, quirky read and some of the twists along the way had me reeling which just proved to me of how powerful and insightful the story had become and how involved I became with Lorna and her journey.  

Highly recommended!!

My thanks to the author for the copy in return for a fair and honest review.



6 thoughts on “The Things We Learn When We’re Dead by Charlie Laidlaw #bookreview

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