Cover Image: Shine On

Shine On

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Member Reviews

NDE stories are nearly always inspiring, and that's why I couldn't turn down a chance at reading and reviewing this one when I was invited to. The bulk of the book isn't about the NDE - rather, it's about the time before it (the time the author was struggling with life) and the time after it (the time it took to heal - more mentally rather than physically, and more from the effects of his life before rather than just the accident itself.)

It is a strong story for sure. There is a lot on what stages David had to go through during his therapy to get over some of the inhibitions and blocks he had in himself that were stopping him from moving forward.

There is also a tendency in this book to focus on the spiritual side - but by no means in terms of religion - there is nothing of religion here. But there is a belief in the far-reaching consciousness of existence - something bigger than us, something humbling. I believe the author has tried very hard to convey this sense in all his work ever since he had the accident - in his paintings as well as his music, and even this story.

Perhaps the most moving part of this story, when you think about it, is to know that the author lost basically most of the use of his arm after the accident, and yet, the fact that he can barely use it anymore rarely even comes up in the story. It's as if what he gained spiritually from the NDE experience is just so much more important to his life than the fact that he has been permanently physically affected and can't really live the way he did before. With most accident stories, you will hear a lot about how hard it was to get over the new disability, the pain and the sudden impossibility to do things that came naturally and easily before the accident, as well as how the healing went. But in this book, this is mentioned so little that you almost forget what he's gone through physically (which I can imagine must've been an ordeal). That really stood out for me - but only after I finished the book did I realize how odd it was not to have heard more about it, when it so clearly makes up a lot of the author's life after his accident. It only goes to show how much he must've gained from his spiritual experience and how its meaning is bigger to him than the ways he is now more physically challenged than he was before. (This is just my take on it though, it might be that the author had other reasons for not sharing it.)

At the end of the book there is an interview with his friends and relatives and what they think about what happened to David. That was also interesting to read. David also has a website where you can listen to his symphony and see some of his paintings - it really brings his story together and sort of brings it from just the pages of the book into our own reality.

It is a wild, inspiring and unusual story to say the least. Also written in a captivating way, it was a good read and if you're into reading about soul-searching and life-changing events, you should read it.


I must warn that the first third of the book is very upsetting. David is experiencing a real breaking point in his life where things just fall apart, and that's even before his accident. It's really sad. And as for the accident... I don't know when I became this emotionally frail wreck that cries even at books, apparently (not even movies anymore!), but I cried at the part where David gets crushed under the train. I mean, I knew it was coming, that's what the whole book is about, and I knew he survives - but I cried, and it wasn't just a few tears (yeah, okay, I wept.) It was just so heart-breaking and terrifying. Not to mention morbid and gory (he had a terrible wound). While it may be worth reading for what comes after, if you are sensitive to this kind of thing then you should know that it's really quite tough to stomach. The therapy that David goes through was also not very easy to read and could prove triggering to some people - he suffers a lot of anxiety and feelings of inadequacy, inferiority (also he feels very bad about having dyslexia). I certainly got triggered by some of it myself and I can see others finding it tough to relive. So while the book is inspiring and humbling, it's also really, really hard to read if you're not in a good place right now, so keep these triggers in mind.

I thank the publisher for giving me a free copy of the ebook in exchange to my honest review. This has not affected my opinion.
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David Ditchfield, a dreamer lured by the appeal of finding success in the big city, soon finds that London is not the mecca he was hoping for. He is not able to find enough work to cover the extortionate effects of living in the capital, falling ever further into debt. He hopes to impress his rich girlfriend Emily with his competencies, but inevitably meets with still further humiliation. He begins to slide further into drinking to numb the pain.

Then on one fateful day, he is nearly killed once a train pulls out of a station, with his coat caught between the doors. He is pulled under the train's wheels.

However, David experiences a powerful NDE, which is to sustain him during a slow recovery towards functionality. His therapist is skeptical, but does recognise that something extraordinary is at work in her patient's life. 

David learns to paint as well as to compose classical music. He finds the inner strength to give up alcohol. Somehow., everything just falls into place as he pursues thiy new, creative path.

Spiritualists and mediums crop up aplenty in this autobiography, but this story does manage not to descend into facile New Age woo-woo. The account of David's descent into depression and alcoholism, the recognition of the sense of failure that fuelled it is gritty enough, and do is the robust admonition from his therapist, that whilst alive, facing the darkness is the only way to become truly rounded. 

The real test for David Ditchfield lies beyond his hard-earned new success. He is to recognise that art for art's sake has its own special thorns and traps, whilst over and beyond that, there is also the need to find true love. 

This then is a story full of feel-good factors for those who may suspect that tbay are looking for fulfilment in all the wrong places. Definitely a worthwhile and edifying read, even for those who, like David's therapist, maybe sceptical of the near-death experience, but who can recognise how it might be capable of changing someone for the better.
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An interesting story of a young man who went to the other side and made it back to tell. I liked the build up to the actual near death experience. Mr Ditchfield explains his life as it builds to the point of the accident. Or was it an accident? After reading this book it seemed to me that he may have been meant to have this experience so He could tell the rest of us that death is just a door to another world. This story offers hope and healing to anyone facing death or the losing of a loved one. I read this book in one sitting as it is that interesting. I felt better also after reading as I recently lost someone dear to me. Thank you David for your story.
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I would like to thank the author, the publisher and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read an ARC of this book. It is the story of the author’s life after a near death experience following an accident he was involved in. I found it very inspiring and uplifting.
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Shine On is a beautiful book filled with the authors journey of self discovery prompted by a near- death experience when he was involved in a train accident. He goes through snippets of his life leading up to his nde and how his life was forever changed afterward. Very motivating and inspiring for anyone who thought their lives couldn't get better, or that life after death is non existent.
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Shine On is a quick and compelling read. Though the author's NDE is the centerpiece of the book, very few pages are devoted to his experience in the higher realms. Instead, the book takes us on David's journey of transformation, contrasting his life before the accident with the creativity, growth and evolution that came after. It's a satisfying narrative that reads a lot like a diary. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an advance reading copy.
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