Book Review: Eight Minutes by Lori Reisenbichler

I got this book from NetGalley in exchange of a fair and honest review.


On the night that Shelly Buckner finally became a mother, she very nearly became a widow.

While Shelly was in the hospital, in labour, Eric, her husband has a near fatal accident, on his way to the hospital. For 8 minutes, he was dead, before he was revived and rescued by the rescue team.

Three years have passed since that near fatal accident and the joyous birth of their son, Toby. Eric and Shelly have gone through and survived some difficult times, as he went through the process of recovering from his horrific experience. They have managed to put away their ordeal, apart from the changes that have come about in Eric. His accident has changed him in some ways. While Shelly understands that such a horrific experience can change anybody, she still misses the sensitive husband of hers who was emotionally present for her whenever she needed him.

She misses him most when Toby suddenly brings home an imaginary friend, John Robberson. According to Toby, John is a Fighter pilot and all of Toby’s games suddenly change to violent plane crashes which end with a broken leg. Shelly is initially alarmed that a grown man seems to have befriended Toby, while Eric was looking after him. However as Toby reveals more details about John, Shelly’s fears escalate. She turns to Eric and she finds that Eric is dismissive of her worries. ‘The old Eric would have never done that’ is Shelly’s first thought.

Toby, in the meanwhile starts showing personality changes, which has Shelly completely worried. As she struggles to understand what her son is going through, she and Eric grow further apart. Shelly doesn’t understand what exactly is happening, but instinctively knows that John Robberson needs to go from their lives for things to go back to normal. I wish I could tell you more, but you are going to have to read it to find out what happens next, but I can assure you that it is a nail-biting read. I had an inkling of what was coming, but the way it ended – I loved that.

I really liked the characters, believable and real. I liked the premise of the story. It was well thought out. Shelly’s desperation comes through so well, and her motivation. As well as her loneliness, the loneliness of being in a situation where the person closest to you is the farthest from you, emotionally. And even worse, when you know that the true nature of that person is so different. Shelly’s state of mind is beautifully explored.

I also liked the way the book explored other belief systems, the way some beliefs are accepted in such a different way in different cultures. I would love to say more, but would hate to spoil it for you guys, if you do plan to read it.

A 3.5/5 read for me.

About the Author
Lori Reisenbichler has always loved a good story, but she did a lot of other things before she got serious about writing. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Spalding University and has told stories onstage at The Moth and and the Dallas-based storytelling series, Oral Fixation. Her debut novel, Eight Minutes, will be available in February 2015.

Lori was born in Moore, Oklahoma and grew up near Kansas City, Missouri. She now lives in Dallas, Texas with her husband. Thankfully, their three grown children live close enough to enjoy, and are grown enough that she has time to sit in coffee shops and make things up. She’s hard at work on her second novel.

This book is available from Amazon(UK).

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