by Mitch Albom
“All ending are beginnings. We just don’t know it at the time…”
From the author of the number one New York Times bestseller Tuesdays with Morrie comes this long-awaited follow-up, an enchanting, beautifully crafted novel that explores a mystery only heaven can unfold. Eddie is a grizzled war veteran who feels trapped in a meaningless life of fixing rides at a seaside amusement park. As the park has changed over the years — from the Loop-the-Loop to the Pipeline Plunge — so, too, has Eddie changed, from optimistic youth to embittered old age. His days are a dull routine of work, loneliness, and regret. Then, on his 83rd birthday, Eddie dies in a tragic accident, trying to save a little girl from a falling cart. With his final breath, he feels two small hands in his — and then nothing. He awakens in the afterlife, where he learns that heaven is not a lush Garden of Eden, but a place where your earthly life is explained to you by five people who were in it. These people may have been loved ones or distant strangers. Yet each of them changed your path forever. One by one, Eddie’s five people illuminate the unseen connections of his earthly life. As the story builds to its stunning conclusion, Eddie desperately seeks redemption in the still-unknown last act of his life: Was it a heroic success or a devastating failure? The answer, which comes from the most unlikely of sources, is as inspirational as a glimpse of heaven itself. In The Five People You Meet in Heaven, Mitch Albom gives us an astoundingly original story that will change everything you’ve ever thought about the afterlife — and the meaning of our lives here on earth. With a timeless tale, appealing to all, this is a book that readers of fine fiction, and those who loved Tuesdays with Morrie, will treasure. Albom has said that the book was inspired by his real life uncle, Eddie Beitchman, who, like the character, who was also a World War II veteran, who also died at 83, and also lived a life like that of the fictional character, rarely leaving his home city, and often feeling that he didn’t accomplish what he should have. The Five People You Meet in Heaven is a tale of a life on earth. It’s a tale of life beyond it. It’s a fable about love, a warning about war, and a nod of the cap to the real people of this world, the ones who never get their name in lights. Selling over 11 million copies in 38 territories and in 35 languages, The Five People You Meet in Heaven is the bestselling hardcover first-time novel ever.
My Review: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
I’ve wanted to read this novel for a long time, and I’ve glad I did. I enjoyed it very much. While the doctrine of everyone ending up in Heaven might not be sound, the lessons learned by Eddie as he learns that his life really does have meaning are sound. Eddie learns we’re all connected, that sacrifice is an important part of life, that we need to forgive, and that real love lasts forever, and that our lives do have purpose. I highly recommend this novel.