Thank you, Kay!
Reiterating: SPOLERS ahead!
I'd love to have a marathon knitting session and talk about this book with all of you. For now I'll share a question that has burned hottest/most anxiously for me. It is this: Was Rev. Thomas's initial experience of the afterlife (the "quick check" scene) actually what he (and all of them) would face once he left the graveyard?
On one hand, it is not what Willie experienced (Allowed!). So either everyone's is the same and it is Willie's, and Rev. T's was a projected fear and not the real afterlife, OR everyone has their own, and they are all different. The latter hypothesis is perhaps supported by Mr. Baron's matterlightblooming being dingy grey and not the usual luminous white. The water is further muddied by the roving spirit conglomeration that attacks spirits who were young when they died. (Next question: what the heck is that all about?)
Why would Rev. T's experience go "out of order?" And do the Angels who talk to him represent that terrible judgement place?
I was really preoccupied with this question after reading, eager to hear all of your thoughts!
The mutual attachment between parent and child under those circumstances just...tore me to pieces. And the idea that Willie's attachment might actually be endangering his eternal soul? Too cruel. His apparent ultimate joyful connection to the Universe (and his inspiring sense of rightness and courage in reaching it) helped.
I'll stop there for now...