This was a very good read.
There were stories inside this story that were so great when told by the narrator's (he never said what his name actually is) companion Marianne. I pictured Tori Amos in my head when they described her. But that image changed slowly as the story progressed. I found myself loving her stories and looking forward to the next and wondering what the stories had to do with the narrator's story, but when it all came together I was pleased how they intertwined. These stories spanned 700 years, 4 countries and several languages. To Hell and back literally.
One of the added bonus' of the book, was at the end with the questions to the author. I discovered that the begining letter of each chapter is a message. And the last letter of each chapter is another message in German. You'll understand the meaning of the message after you read the story. There were several things I had not noticed in the book until the author pointed them out, like the names of nurses and how they were relevant over time and how Marianne's stories used elements like fire, water, air and earth. No matter what religious or non-religious beliefs you have, it is a story that makes you think. Not about God, but about what's important in your world.