What is heaven on earth? The answer lies in this true story of one young man's journey to find hope and purpose with the help of an unlikely teacher--a compassionate and wise old nun, whom the world had long-forgotten.
By the time Harvard-educated John Schlimm turned 31 years old, he had worked with some of the biggest superstars in Nashville and served under the most powerful people in the White House. But something was missing. His life had come to a standstill, lost in a whirl of questions about belonging, faith, rejection, and purpose. He soon decides to return to his small-town roots in search of a new beginning.
Returning home, John meets 87-year-old Sister Augustine, the beguiling self-taught artist-in-residence at the ceramic shop on the sprawling grounds of the local 150-year-old convent. John is instantly bowled over by Sister's quiet grace and vision. Before long, his weekly visits to Sister's shop become a master's class in the meaning of life, love, humility, and second chances. As she directed him on the road to self-discovery and salvation, John returned the favor by putting Sister Augustine on the front page of newspapers and showing his friend that her life still had one very important and unexpected final chapter yet to go.
In Five Years in Heaven, John shares the wisdom, humor, grace, and inspiration he experienced during his hundreds of visits with Sister Augustine. Five Years in Heaven reminds us that we can find love and joy in the most unlikely of places, and that the building blocks of peace and happiness are always within our reach.
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John Schlimm is a Harvard-trained educator, artist, and award-winning writer. He has traveled the country speaking about inspirational/motivational topics, cooking, entertaining, and public relations, including his "Embrace Compassion, Change the World" keynote address on Capitol Hill. He has appeared on such national media outlets as The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live, NPR, Martha Stewart Living's Everyday Food, The Splendid Table, QVC, and Fox & Friends. John also recently debuted his participatory art piece THE SMILE THAT CHANGED THE WORLD (is yours) with installations in Canada and Washington, D.C.Review:
“This is an inspiring memoir of the miracle of friendship. We can all learn much from this book’s simple and profound wisdom.”
- Deepak Chopra, New York Times Best Selling Author of The Path to Love
"Empowering and heartfelt, Five Years in Heaven is a beautiful testament to new beginnings and second chances at any age."
- Andie Mitchell, New York Times Best Selling Author of It Was Me All Along
"What can an 87-year-old Benedictine sister teach a world-weary 31-year-old self-described ‘lost and disoriented’ man? More than he could have imagined. What can this book about their unique relationship teach you? More than you can imagine. This heartwarming story about spiritual friendship shows how God's love can be revealed in the most surprising of ways, and people."
- James Martin, SJ, New York Times Best Selling Author of A Jesuit’s Guide to Almost Everything
"Five Years in Heaven is a beautiful tribute to the divine wisdom and comfort of friendship. This is an inspiring blueprint for living life to the fullest at any age."
- RoseMarie Terenzio, New York Times Best Selling Author of Fairy Tale Interrupted
“Five Years in Heaven is a wonderfully crafted book that must be read slowly in order to fully absorb the brilliance and depth of Sister Augustine’s insights into the human condition.”
- Mary Neal, New York Times Best Selling Author of To Heaven and Back
“This is a beautiful and uplifting book that makes me smile.”
- Maura Poston Zagrans, bestselling author of Miracles Every Day
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