This was a unique novel in the sense that while I didn't quite care for the main character, David, the novel ended up not really being about what I thought. David works at a job he doesn't like, but like everyone it's a job and what else is a responsible adult supposed to do? One day he receives an email from his brother...but it can't be from him, because David's brother is dead. That's what I thought the plot would be about. To an extent, it was. It's the catalyst for everything else.
Whether the emails actually come from heaven (a place David doesn't believe in, but his brother did) was not what continued to entice me. It was how dealing with his brother's death changed David. It was obvious he likely hadn't dealt with the loss, not in any serious way at least. But the emails made David do things he wouldn't have done normally. He never would have spoken to the quiet accountant. He never would have asked out the woman way out of his league. He had his place in life, his routine, and that was that.
The relationships David created I found to be real, and awkward (as any good relationship/friendship is), and life-changing for everyone involved. While I still didn't care much for David in the end, I found him to be real at the very least, and as an author myself it's something I strive for. You're not going to like everyone you meet in real life, but if you can understand them as a person, understand where they're coming from then at least that's something. And Neumann accomplished that with David, whether I liked him or not.
I recommend this novel to anyone who needs a kick in the pants to get their life in order, their priorities set up, or just need to finally take that vacation from work and go fishing. It's a reminder to be kind to people for no reason, and really get to know the people around you. You'll find yourself amazed sometimes.