From Beyond the Skies

An Invitation Into the Wonder of Love

Non-Fiction - Parenting
260 Pages
Reviewed on 06/18/2021
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite

A transformative and inspiring journey, From Beyond the Skies: An Invitation into the Wonder of Love by Juli Boit takes readers on a journey of love and motherhood that will change the way most readers understand family and community. In this spellbinding and inspirational memoir, Juli Boit, a practicing nurse who left her cozy home in Los Angeles to travel to a small village in Kenya as part of an HIV program, shares her journey. She captures the plight of the locals and how she founded the Kimbilio hospice, a space of love and welcome for those longing for healing and love. A child whose mother passed away while giving birth to him, Ryan, is brought to the hospice, and no one knows how that baby survived for the period before he came to Juli. Juli and her husband, Titus, adopt Ryan. However, Ryan isn’t an ordinary child. He is afflicted with Sickle Cell disease that easily claims the lives of infants in Africa. This book tells the story of their journey with Ryan and his sibling and more.

I hardly believed in selfless love. I have grown up to believe that for everything we receive, there is a price to pay, and that is the culture that most readers are familiar with. From Beyond the Skies: An Invitation into the Wonder of Love tells a completely different story, immersing readers in the life of a family founded in true love, in faith in the future of humanity, and in the power of community. The author paints a vivid picture of the suffering of the people who came to her for help, allowing the community character of her work to come out brilliantly. The reader immediately gets a clear understanding of the precariousness of the situation, the fear as she sets out on this important mission, but the courage to transcend her fear and to embrace hope creates a miracle called community and family. The way human connections are portrayed in this story is just wonderful. The humanity of those featured is deftly written and Juli Boit communicates the powerful message that family is strength and that when a community unites they can face any challenge. I rooted for this author and her work from the first page; it is one of those stories that literally compel you to strive to make a difference in the lives of others.

Ruffina Oserio

From Beyond the Skies: An Invitation into the Wonder of Love by Juli Boit is a spellbinding memoir that explores themes of parenting, strong human connection, and love in an unusually challenging context. Juli is trained as a Family Nurse and has a strong passion for social justice and human dignity. In this memoir, she takes readers on a journey from Los Angeles to a small village in Kenya as part of an HIV prevention program. There she founds the Kimbilio hospice, a home for those afflicted by HIV-AIDS. When a newborn baby boy is brought to the hospice, whose mother died giving birth to him, Juli and her husband, Titus, take him in, determined to keep him alive. But when the baby is diagnosed with Sickle Cell Disease, a disease that spells doom, everything changes. Follow this story of love, family, and courage. Discover how long this couple can keep Ryan alive.

From Beyond the Skies is not just inspirational. It is immersive. A story filled with love that will bring tears of joy to the eyes of readers, and keep them rooting for a couple that makes a huge difference in the lives of poor people. In this book, Juli and her Kenyan husband prove that love has no boundaries, knows no color, and is unconditional. It is an odyssey of one woman’s journey to Africa where she creates a life-changing experience of hope for the poorest of the poor, adopting three children with Sickle Cell Disease and communicating hope where there is despair. The reader feels the heart of the author as they follow her inspiring path and become aware that nothing is impossible. Here is a book that should not only be read but shared, one that should be developed into a movie to communicate the love that is absent in the barren areas of our humanity. From Beyond the Skies: An Invitation into the Wonder of Love is a book you should read and give as a gift to loved ones.

Vincent Dublado

If truth is stranger than fiction, it is also more heartwarming and sublime. This is the natural high you’ll get in reading Juli Boit’s From Beyond the Skies: An Invitation Into the Wonder of Love. It chronicles the author’s story that begins sixteen years ago when she moves to a small village in Kenya to take part in an HIV program. A nurse by profession with a strong sense of empathy, she has seen countless people succumb to the scourge of a treatable disease. Here she meets a humble professor of medicine from Indiana University who becomes her mentor in reaching for the impossible and to love in different ways. From a pediatric unit at UCLA to a village in Kenya, Boit’s calling has given her the gift of nurturing life as she and her husband become loving parents to a child patient that suffered from sickle cell disease.

From Beyond the Skies is a masterful true-to-life examination of how giving unconditional love can go a long way in improving and maximizing the quality of life of others. As the founder of a non-profit hospice and palliative care service in Kenya, Juli Boit’s sublime credential lends credibility to her personal journey. I find her story to be a breath of fresh air. In a world that nurtures shallow materialism and self-centeredness, Boit’s humane concerns are a testament that compassion is greatly beneficial to those who need it. Her writing reflects her humility by giving credit to those who have become instrumental in shaping her journey and reaching her destination. From Beyond the Skies will make you experience a full range of emotions. Boit is one of those women who can manage to keep her hopes up despite tremendous adversity, and she understands what she has signed up for. She runs from sadness, pain, hope, to love, and I believe that she has learned a lot. And you can learn a lot from reading what she has to say.

Romuald Dzemo

From Beyond the Skies: An Invitation into the Wonder of Love by Juli Boit is a wonderful story of faith and love that follows the author’s journey as she answers a call to serve as mother to the least fortunate, the “poorest of the poor,” in a small village in Kenya. Leaving her hometown of Los Angeles, she travels as part of an HIV program to Kenya where she founds a hospice called Kimbilio, a home for those afflicted by HIV-AIDS. When she accepts to be a mother to a small boy, a fragile seventeen-month-old premature boy whose little body is already familiar with pain and suffering, her life changes in many ways as does the life of her husband, Titus. Follow Juli and Titus as they embark on the path to creating a family for Ryan Kibichii and two others whose lives are already condemned by Sickle Cell disease. It is an adventure that will open doors in the reader’s own heart.

This is a heartwarming, at times heartbreaking, but always a very inspiring story of the power of love. Such love can only be inspired by something bigger than us, and as we follow Juli Boit’s story, we begin to understand that miracles happen when we choose the difficult path of love and compassion. The author writes in prose that is exquisite and captures human emotions and the reality of suffering in their rawest forms. This is one of the best books I have read about love and parenting and Juli’s work showcases her faith in humanity and crystallizes the truth that no pain can be unbearable when experienced together, as a community. The place of community is central in From Beyond the Skies and readers will love the support that Juli and her husband receive from their close collaborators and friends. This is a book with a powerful message of hope; it reinforces in readers the truth that there is always hope when our hearts open in the embrace of love. It is as poignant as it is powerful.

Edith Wairimu

From Beyond the Skies: An Invitation Into the Wonder of Love by Juli Boit is a beautiful, inspiring story that demonstrates Christ-like love and a sense of community in an extraordinary way. Boit, a nurse from Los Angeles, California moved to Kenya to be part of an HIV program. For a decade she met and cared for the sick and dying through Kimbilio Hospice which she had founded. At one point, an infant, whose mother had just died and whose neighbors had barely kept him alive by feeding him water, was brought to her. Boit and her husband, Titus, took him into their home and took care of him and his siblings like their own. Ryan’s fight for survival had only just begun. Together with his siblings, he was diagnosed with Sickle Cell disease. Boit tells of the family’s fight for the lives of the siblings.

The couple’s deep sense of conviction that every life is worth fighting for is transformative. As they face challenges along the way, Boit and Titus do not give up. They do all they can to save Ryan and his siblings. The search for treatment takes them to Los Angeles where Ryan’s life hangs in the balance for months. The book is pleasantly written. Boit beautifully captures the despair, feelings of fatigue, and anxiety at each step of the way. The story is also filled with hope. With every little victory, the couple and the community around them celebrate. From Beyond the Skies: An Invitation Into the Wonder of Love by Juli Boit is a profound picture of love in action. It shows love as imperfect but also courageous, willing to take risks, and rooted in the belief that every life matters.