Reviewed by Geoffrey S.

With the publication of Eternal Bonds of Love comes the birth, possibly, of a new literary genre, the afterlife memoir.

Eternal Bonds of Love is an inspirational story, presented as non-fiction. It details the first two years of Ricardo Petrillo’s afterlife. Ricardo is the deceased son of parents Claudio R. Petrillo and Sylvia Knoploch, both physicians. Ricardo died suddenly, at age 20, in an unexplained accident while away at college. In our realm, he was a popular, sensitive, smart, young man who had an extremely close relationship with his parents.

About a year after his death, Ricardo has accumulated enough self knowledge while attending school in the afterlife, through teachers, guides, homework, field trips (to hear Jesus give the Sermon on the Mount), and learns the powers of meditation, prayer and the vibratory resonance of each thought (“if we only knew”) to communicate with his parents who are struggling with their grief. Ricardo begins “direct communication” with Claudio, who writes down Ricardo’s messages on a nightly basis. After a while, Ricardo conveys to them that a teacher has given him an assignment that benefits all of their spiritual progress: they will be writing a book together. Eternal Bonds of Love is that book.

The book begins with three forewords: one by Sylvia, one by Ricardo and a third by Claudio. Ricardo is also listed as one of the co-authors. Sylvia Knoploch mentions that before the birth of their children, they were devout followers of the Spiritist Doctrine and after Ricardo’s passing to the next realm, they returned to its study and practice. Wikipedia explains the Doctrine, (which focuses on the Semon on the Mount) “assumes thatif we only live once, the apparent injustice of the world must be a reflection of God’s injustice. On the other hand, considering that, through reincarnations, we live many times and that we carry from one life to the next the missions we left unfulfilled, the guilt for the wrongs we did against others, etc.,” we continue to evolve, to become more compassionate, sympathetic, loving, and communicative with beings on all vibratory levels. This is the nature of Ricardo’s afterlife and the confirmation for Sylvia and Claudio that love and life are eternal.

I have to say the book, which is half prose and half poetry, is somewhat shoddily written, and things like the nature of Ricardo’s accident and the Spiritis Doctrine are left unexplained. But the grief, joy and earnest faith conveyed in the process, makes up for some of that shoddiness. And I have always been inclined to believe that we are in constant dialogue with beings, angels, (projected thoughts of God) there to aid us if we learn to ask for their help and learn to listen.