Author Randal Eldon Greene makes his literary fiction debut with “Descriptions of Heaven”

Descriptions of Heaven, published by Harvard Square Editions (November, 2016), is the debut novel by Randal Eldon Greene that has already started to receive great reviews from readers and editors alike. The book — available through Amazon, Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Bodart, and in bookstores everywhere—has received positive feedback from connoisseurs of literary fiction. Eric Maroney of Colorado Review writes, “This is an accomplished work. Greene has addressed a great deal of material in a short space. His story is physically minimal while his prose, and the ideas and situations it conveys, are expansive. Greene does very effective work with very few pages. In the process, he has created a thoughtful and emotional novel that examines with intelligence and compassion the deepest levels of human suffering and loss.”

As the blurb of the book suggests, Natalia, the wife of the narrator, discovers that her cancer has returned. On the shores of the lake in a strange house with many secret doors, Robert, and his family must face the fact that Natalia is dying, and there is no hope this time. While the story is about a family dealing with a deadly disease, there is another strange, gothic aspect—news spreads of an unknown creature filmed in the New Bedford Lake. As the story proceeds, the reader is left wondering, along with the linguist, Robert, about the reality of this lake monster.

It is evident from the reviews that Descriptions of Heaven touches the emotional side of his readers, and the author successfully manages to put them into the shoes of his characters. Though this novel is a slim book “Randal Eldon Greene paints his words with every array of colors imaginable” (Paperback Darling) and uses his “hauntingly beautiful lines” (Unbroken Journal) to give us an emotionally affecting story, a story where one can be easily be “pulled in by the linguist’s efforts to use the tools of his craft—words—as aids in his search for answers to his son’s (and his own) questions about why Natalia is dying and where she is going” (IndieReader). Greene’s novel tackles these questions without giving any easy answers. 

The author’s literary style is especially appreciated by most of his reviewers; he describes his characters and their situation in a philosophical manner that allows his readers to engage with the text. Greene maintains a lyrical quality throughout the book which keeps the reader turning the pages in this “quietly suspenseful literary novel” (Kevin Polman, author of The Extra Key).

More information about the author can be found on his official website and the book is available for purchase on and through bookstores everywhere.

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