780 pages! Oof.
Joanna (Dr. Lander) works at hospital, doing research into near death experiences (NDEs). She works with a nurse in the ER who pages her every time a patient codes and is revived so she can run to their bedside and ask about their near death experience. A doctor looking into the physical causes of NDEs comes to the hospital wanting to partner with her. They struggle to get enough research subjects, so Joanna eventually agrees to go under with the experimental drug so that she can experience an NDE for herself. She swears up and down it’s not like the movie Flatliners but her nurse friend is still worried.
In her first NDE, Joanna finds herself on the Titanic of all places, and each subsequent visit convinces her more and more that it’s real. She’s seeing parts of the ship she could not have known from books or the movie. Her partner (Dr. Wright) is convinced it’s all chemicals in the brain and they spend hundreds of pages trying to prove each other wrong. There is also a young heart patient, Maisie, who is a big motivator for why they need to find the secret of the NDEs, so they know what to do to revive a coding patient.
There is an insane amount of detail about the scheduling of research patients, geography of the hospital, and other details that seem unimportant, but then the ending just kind of trails off. It just seemed like the middle of the book wandered unnecessarily when I would have preferred more attention to be paid to a concrete ending.