The Five People You Meet in Heaven | Mitch Albom

Friday, November 13, 2015

So I realize I am a little late to the bandwagon for this book, but since Mitch Albom's new book, The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto, recently hit the shelves, I thought I would catch up on some of his other books. Beginning with The Five People You Meet in Heaven.

Eddie, an 83 year old war veteran and amusement park maintenance man, resents his life because he feels everything he has done and become is pointless. He has never done anything "significant," and, in fact, has turned out just like the man he hates the most - his father. When one of the new rides at the park comes tumbling down, he risks his life to save a little girl from certain death, and wakes up to find he has made the ultimate sacrifice.

Confused at first, he encounters five people who help explain the answer to that question we all have: "What's the point?" Each character, whether a familiar face or complete stranger to him, gives a glimpse into the true meaning behind major milestones in Eddie's life, teaching him to forgive, forget, and appreciate all of the circumstances that have led him to heaven.

Sometimes, I admit, I fall victim to judging a book by it's cover. My advanced degree in English should have really taught me that I need to look at reviews and read the cover flaps (no, really, what's the term for those?) before I make any rushed decisions - but I really was hesitant to jump into this book because I thought it was going to be an in-your-face religious book.

To my surprise, and relief, it really wasn't.

The book was a bit slow-paced in some areas, but overall it was an easy and quick read. It's definitely a book that doesn't leave you wanting - everything is completely resolved by the end, leaving no remaining questions and making it obvious why this became such a popular book a few years ago. The Five People You Meet in Heaven is easy to relate to, and gives readers a sense of hope that their life, too, has served a greater purpose.