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Review: Soul Survivor

July 21, 2009

Soul Survivor

When Bruce and Andrea Leininger’s young son, James, showed an interest in airplanes, they didn’t think too much about it.  Then, when James turned two years old, he began having vivid nightmares about being in a plane crash and being trapped in the cockpit.  His verbal skills weren’t great yet, but he’d say that the “airplane crash on fire little man can’t get out”  and when they asked who the little man was, James would reply that it was him.    The Leiningers were concerned about the nightmares, but initially attributed them to a move they had recently made or his age or even television.

As James got older and his language skills improved, he began telling his parents things that didn’t make sense to them.  He said he flew a Corsair off of the Natoma and the Japanese shot him down.  He also mentioned some other people who were on the ship.  Andrea had read a book about reincarnation in children and began to suspect that James’ soul had been on the Earth previously.  She got in contact with Carol Bowman, the author of Children’s Past Lives and got some tips from her on how to cope with the situation.

Since Bruce is a deeply religious man, he couldn’t accept Andrea’s theory and began some intensive research trying to disprove it.  Instead of disproving Andrea’s theory, it seems like all the evidence he uncovered only further proved it.  Bruce also became very involved with and attached to the brave men who served on the USS Natoma Bay.

The Leiningers were leery when they were approached by TV producers because they didn’t want to be labeled crackpots and they were worried about the affect it would have on James, but they finally relented to some interviews.  Here’s one of several clips that have appeared on TV:

I read Soul Survivor by Bruce and Andrea Leininger with Ken Gross in anticipation of their interview on Blog Talk Radio.  The book is written in a conversational tone, so it’s an easy read – you feel like you’re listening to an old friend.  There were some details included that I felt weren’t necessary for the story, but they didn’t detract too much.  Besides the story of James, there are some interesting stories about the brave men who served on the USS Natoma Bay during World War II.  No matter how you feel about reincarnation, this book will make you think.  I think the Leiningers were meticulous in their research and they’re sincere in their beliefs, but  after reading Soul Survivor and mulling over the facts for a few days, I still don’t know what to think.   This is a great book for anyone interested in reincarnation.

This is my fifth book for the WWII Challenge.

28 Comments leave one →
  1. July 21, 2009 7:21 am

    I’m supposed to be getting this one soon. It sounds fascinating. I’ll get your review posted on War Through the Generations soon.

  2. July 21, 2009 7:26 am

    Great review. And this book sounds like it will be good. I am adding it to my TBR pile. 🙂

  3. July 21, 2009 7:59 am

    Wow!! I must read this one to decide for myself. I’ve never heard of this family and the book sounds really interesting. Great review Kathy!

  4. July 21, 2009 8:13 am

    This sounds really, really interesting. Thanks for the great review!

  5. iwriteinbooks permalink
    July 21, 2009 8:23 am

    This sounds like an interesting concept. Thanks for the review!

  6. July 21, 2009 8:27 am

    I’m not sure if this would be a book for me, but I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it!

  7. July 21, 2009 8:35 am

    A good, honest review. I would probably be pondering it several days after I read it too. I like books that make me think.

  8. July 21, 2009 8:40 am

    Great review, Kathy! This is the first I’ve heard of this story.

  9. July 21, 2009 8:53 am

    Sounds like a great book Kathy! Thanks

  10. July 21, 2009 8:56 am

    I wanted to read this or something like it after I had read The Reincarnationist. Interesting story.

  11. July 21, 2009 9:00 am

    I saw the interview with the little boy on one of the early morning shows. I’m hoping to get to this one in the next few weeks.

  12. July 21, 2009 9:21 am

    This sounds very cool! I’ve actually grown to like books that leave you not sure what to think — I think that shows the authors did a good job trying to show as much as possible without seeming to force you to agree with them.

  13. July 21, 2009 10:56 am

    I find reincarnation fascinating. This book sounds intriguing.

  14. July 21, 2009 11:32 am

    A copy of this is supposed to be headed my way and I hope it gets here because it does sound very interesting. Thanks for posting the clip, I haven’t seen anything about this on television but Mark says that he has.

  15. July 21, 2009 11:56 am

    This was a great review! How interesting!

  16. July 21, 2009 12:34 pm

    Interesting story. It’s hard to know what to make of this story.

  17. July 21, 2009 1:02 pm

    This sounds really interesting! I will have to keep it in mind. Thanks for the review!

  18. July 21, 2009 1:16 pm

    Sounds interesting!

  19. July 21, 2009 1:40 pm

    I just love anything like this. Definitely one for my list.

  20. July 21, 2009 1:49 pm

    I cannot wait to read this book…it sounds fantastic

  21. July 22, 2009 2:14 am

    I won a copy! I can’t wait to give it a try and see what I think of it.

  22. July 22, 2009 8:01 am

    Whoa. That’s about all I can say. Great video.

  23. July 22, 2009 12:04 pm

    Certainly sounds thought-provoking…Don’t know if it’s for me, though your review was terrific!

  24. July 22, 2009 8:26 pm

    Hmmmm. Your review has piqued my interest!

  25. July 24, 2009 9:05 pm

    This sounds pretty freaky!!! But it seems like they don’t want this to happen … which seems to make the case that it did happen (if that makes sense).

  26. Debty permalink
    July 26, 2009 5:54 pm

    Ahaan… I will follow.

  27. December 20, 2009 5:41 pm

    we’ve posted a link to your review on the war blog. Thanks for participating. We hope you will consider the 2010 Vietnam War reading challenge.

  28. January 3, 2010 5:30 pm

    I just finished reading this fascinating book from our library. It’s very well written and I’m going to buy my own copy. I’m persuading my husband to read it, too. (He’s planning on going around only once, no matter what I say!)

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