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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
Dying to Live by Barbara Macpherson Reyelts doesn’t waste time in getting to the core of its plot—and that’s what makes it absorbing. Dr. Esther Windom is a nonagenarian with a Nobel Prize that will cap her brilliant legacy. As the story opens, she is tended to by caregivers as her breathing is thready and her heart rate is a little slow. She can hear the sounds of voices but she can’t keep her eyes open. Then sometime later, she is startled by the sound of a baby crying. As she tries to look around the room, she discovers that she has no control over her muscles, and when she calls for help, all she can make is a small squeak. It doesn’t take long for her to realize that she is no longer her old self. She has become a baby, except that her old scientist memories remain intact! Her mom and dad name her Esme, and by using her past memories, she is bound to become a world-renowned medical doctor.
This is a reincarnation story that is highly original. There is no mind swap involved here. Barbara McPherson Reyelts makes it smart and entertaining by delivering it with a certain wit and irony. This novel depends to a great degree on the author’s execution, and Reyelts shows you how destiny offers a charted course through the raw point of view illustrated in Esther’s rebirth. It is surreal yet grounded, as it does away with fantasies about heaven and souls dispensed to inhabit their new bodies. Esther’s coming to life in a new form is just laying the foundations. The storyline is well-written and it can translate well onto the screen. What I like most of all is that it’s a story that doesn’t argue about science or faith. Dying to Live is a must-read that gives you a profound understanding of who you are and why you are here.