Have you ever wondered what it would be like to talk to your guardian angel? Niki Bowers, the main character of Destined for Eternity by Rebecca Sundberg and Elizabeth Wiens, meets Romuel, her guardian angel just short of entering eternity. Romuel guides Niki through the months leading up to her near death experience in a car accident. As Niki revisits the past, she learns how Satan enticed her to serve materialism and success rather than Christ.
Niki was a practicing Christian until her husband, Dr. Jonathan Bowers, decided to move their family from Ohio to California to pursue a new career opportunity. He left the small practice he shared with Nickiís uncle in Ohio to join old friends from medical school in an upscale clinic in California. However, these friends were not Christian and the Bowers did not anticipate how quickly they would be swept into their friendsí materialistic lifestyle.
Niki had misgivings about the choices they made but went along with the changes while Jonathan became quickly absorbed in the demands of his new practice. Their two daughters, Carli and Lissa, faced adjusting to a new school and making new friends.
As time passed, Niki found herself entangled in friendships that led her away from God. Her husband had little time for her and she suffered from depression. The problems increased until her accident.
The opening paragraph of the book finds Romuel and Jesus discussing Nikiís eternal destiny. Niki enters the story drifting in and out of consciousness due to the accident. While she is unconscious, Romuel uses flashbacks to show her how he protected her and where she had failed God.
Authors Sundberg and Wiens use Nikiís downfall as an effective illustration of the lure of materialism and success. However, Jonathanís failure to lead the family spiritually and his poor decision-making get little attention in the story. Since women in their thirties and forties are the most likely group to read the book, a strong female main character will help to keep them interested.
As a Christian woman in todayís Christian culture, it is difficult to identify with Nikiís behavior: while in crisis, she makes no contact with a church or a parachurch organization, not even a trip to a Christian bookstore. Consequently, the authors miss an opportunity to encourage the reader to look for help within the Christian community. Nonetheless, the authors have written effectively and concisely, hammering home the cost of "living for self." Destined for Eternity is a good read. -- Ardis Baad, Christian Book Previews.com
One day we will stand before Jesus. Will we be ready when that time comes, or will we have regrets about how we lived our lives here on earth? This is the question Niki faces when she suddenly finds her grasp on life slipping away. Not until she meets Romuel, her guardian angel, does Niki realize that she is not ready to meet her Savior. She begs Romuel to ask Jesus for a second chance. Romuel is hesitant to question God's timing, but agrees to take some time to show Niki how Satan succeeded in subtly pulling her astray.
The story rotates between Niki with her guardian angel, and the scene at the hospital where Niki's husband has to deal with his own shortcomings and face the possibility of losing his wife. Will Jonathan be able to forgive himself and comfort his two grieving daughters if their mother dies?