Multnomah, Jan 2002, 10.99, 450 pp.
It is a cold wintry day when the takeoff of a flight to Arizona is delayed due to the inclement weather. While waiting on the tarmac, aisle mates become acquainted and though they do not know it yet, their lives will be changed by that encounter in ways to numerous to mention.
Merry is on the way to Arizona to stay with her single girlfriend and is dismayed that her husband and daughter are in the seats next to her. George is going to Arizona to commit suicide; he meets Henry Smith, an ordinary person who feels God has called him upon for a special mission. Arrogant plastic surgeon Anthony sits next to Belinde who sees him for the mean spirited creature he is. Sonja is climbing the corporate ladder and is on the airplane because she played a trick on a co-worker. Tina hates her job as a schoolteacher and sits next to a teenager who questions her about God. Before she can answer, the plane hits a bridge and falls into the water. All but six are dead and one of them gives up his life so the rest of them could live.
THE SEAT BESIDE ME shows how each of the survivor copes with their survival and how the trauma changes them. They all try to find answers and all roads leads back to God who they feel saved them for a reason. The story is electrifying and the characters represent a cross-section of the population. Nancy Moser writes a gripping tale that touches the heart of all who reads it.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner