Saturday, May 30, 2009

Day 175 - The Five People You Meet in Heaven

The Five People You Meet in Heaven
Mitch Albom

Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone

Synopsis: [from]

Eddie is a wounded war veteran, an old man who has lived, in his mind, an uninspired life. His job is fixing rides at a seaside amusement park. On his 83rd birthday, a tragic accident kills him as he tries to save a little girl from a falling cart. He awakes in the afterlife, where he learns that heaven is not a destination. It's a place where your life is explained to you by five people, some of whom you knew, others who may have been strangers. One by one, from childhood to soldier to old age, Eddie's five people revisit their connections to him on earth, illuminating the mysteries of his "meaningless" life, and revealing the haunting secret behind the eternal question: "Why was I here?"


I don't really know what I was expecting from this book. I was a little hesitant because I was afraid the book was going to have a preachy tone. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed the book. And it was such a quick and easy read that packed a big emotional punch, a perfect combination. This was my first book by Mitch Albom and I've heard his first book, Tuesdays with Morrie, is good I think I might try his others ones first.

The story starts out at the end of Eddie's life. The head of maintenance isn't a terribly hard job, but it fills Eddie's days at Ruby Pier. After a freak accident with one of the amusement park rides on his 83rd birthday, Eddie dies and goes to Heaven. It is there he meets five people from his life that have somehow had an affect on him.

Each of the five people have something to teach Eddie - something that will help him better understand his life and what it means. This is where I feared the book would become preachy, but it didn't! I totally believed in the lessons and the characters that were chosen for Eddie's teachers. I eagerly kept turning pages to see who all five people were and what they would be teaching Eddie.

Over the course of the book, Albom provides flashbacks of Eddie's life. They are on subsequent birthdays that turn out to be pivotal moments in his life. It is here I learned what kind of person Eddie was while living and how he came to be the person I first met at the beginning of the story. Instead of being a cranky old man stereotype, Eddie became someone that was layered with different emotions and characteristics that quickly drew me to him.

I had a bunch of passages I wanted to share but I think I'll save them for you to discover. I will share one line that really is a lesson in itself, but won't ruin any part of the story.

"Life has to end," she said. "Love doesn't." (173)

I don't want to go into any of the other characters or any other part of the story because I really feel you should read it for yourself. It's a really quick read so I definitely recommend anyone who hasn't read this yet to pick it up. It's a sweet and yes, even life-teaching novel that I think a lot of people would enjoy.


While searching for the book cover to put in this post I came across this picture and found out that there is a movie. I found the trailer for it here. Looks pretty good, I'll definitely have to get it on Netflix or something and check it out.


prophecygirl said...

I've been wanting to read this for ages, it sounds so good. I think I'm going to get it soon!

ANovelMenagerie said...

I read the book and saw this movie (it was made for tv). I liked the book better than the movie, however the movie was good.

Alaine - Queen of Happy Endings said...

I really enjoyed this book, it was an easy read that had surprising depth. Great review!

Kate said...

I'd never heard of this book/film before. Thanks for the great review. It sounds like something I would enjoy reading.

heatherlo said...

I read this book years ago and absolutely loved it. I've read Albom's other books too, and unfortunately this is the only one I've really enjoyed. If you do get to the other two, I certainly hope YOU like them! :)

Nicola O. said...

Nice review! I have looked at this one a bunch and not bought it because of the same apprehension you had. Maybe I'll give it a try!

Dar said...

I read this a long time ago and really enjoyed it. I still haven't forgotten it. I did see the movie but as it usually is for me I enjoyed the book more.

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