As a reader of Ian Stevensons's books and Dr. Jim B. Tucker's previous work 'Life Before Life', I can honestly say this book is the most accessible and honest of all their works. Generally, the previous reincarnation books were very analytical and light on the personal touch. While this book continues the tradition of providing the essential details that are the heart of the argument for reincarnation, it does so with a grace and human element that makes the children and their parents come to life as if they are sitting at your kitchen table. l have to compliment Jim B. Tucker on show casing his writing talents. Job well done.
My favorite part of this book is the emphasis on children who remember past lives and are from America. One of the greatest critiques from skeptics is that reincarnation is a cultural phenomenon from religions with the belief in reincarnation. Well, If they did their own research before this book came out they'd realize it wasn't, but now that 'Return To Life' is available and highlights strictly American cases of reincarnation, it's very easy to point the skeptic in the right direction to overcome their objection. (Getting them to actually read it, however, is another thing entirely) As the American cases continue to prove, reincarnation is a phenomenon that crosses cultural, religious, racial, gender, and geography lines. These are Christian parents, raising their children Christian, discovering that their child is identifying with someone who has passed away. When a die hard Christian realizes their child is having a past life experience, it's refreshing to see them keep their mind open and realize that our holy books are holy and sacred, but incomplete.
Additionally, this book reinforces the truth, whether we in the West are prepared to believe it or not, that some sort of an afterlife exists and that reincarnation is an option. As the culture war heats up between atheists and the religious/spiritual, this book is crucial ammunition to put the delusional atheist arguments to rest. I use reincarnation as a major argument against new atheism in my own bookThe Case Against Atheism because we need to wake up to this evidence and take the next steps, to find a mechanism, to learn about how we can help children with these memories, and to discover if there is a purpose for this recycling of souls. We are more than this material body. The Hindus and Buddhists were right, to an extent. Now let's move on. As philosopher and reincarnation defender Robert Almeder has said "If you have a very commanding argument that you cannot refute, not to accept the argument is to act irrationally" The atheists/skeptics regurgitate the same impossible and ignorant arguments such as the child is having a fantasy, they're being coached, or my favorite, that aliens are the cause. Carl Sagan and, believe it or not, New Atheism founder Sam Harris have all stated their belief that reincarnation is possible. If only more scientists would read this book and the other research, there is no telling what we may learn about the purpose of this life and conditions of the next.
The second incredibly powerful argument in this book is the biological one. Skeptics consistently dismiss these cases as merely anecdotal. When I point out they are much more, including biological with matching birthmarks, they resort to childish mocking. This speaks volumes about their inability to address the reality of the evidence and their need to protect their identity and beliefs. As this book continues to demonstrate, it is more than memories, knowledge, emotions etc., which are impressive on their own, but also biological correspondence to the previous life's body, which the statisticians in the book conclude are highly improbable.
Whether you're a new atheist a religious follower or a spiritual seeker, I think you will thoroughly enjoy this book. Be prepared to keep your mind open and to have your beliefs changed, but it's for a good reason with a happy ending. There is life after life, returning is possible, and what better news can there be than that?