The Five People You Meet in Heaven
by Mitch Albom
Release Date: September 23, 2003
Publisher: Hachette Books
Number of pages: 196
Source: Warren Public Library
Read 8/22/20 to 9/22/20
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?
This book has been on my TBR for over a decade. I’m not exaggerating. I grew up in a Mitch Albom household. Back in the day of Detroit having two big newspapers, my dad subscribed to them both. And this author had a sports column in The Detroit Free Press. Later, when I was in high school, those newspapers combined and Mitch Albom started a non-sports column that ran weekly. I loved that column and Albom’s views on life in America. When I got married and moved across the country right after high school, I lost track of his writing. (These were pre-internet days.) I saw he started publishing books and have always had them on the backburner, waiting to be read. Yet, I’ve never done so through all these years. This long paragraph is to say, I’m grateful this was a picked by my book club. I finally got to cross a Mitch Albom book off my TBR…and it was great!
Not only is this a wonderful book, it’s also a quick read. The author does a beautiful job with the rhythm and flow, and the story really kept me engaged. I never knew who Eddie would meet next. Sometimes, just like Eddie, I would be a bit confused as to why he was meeting a particular person. Yet, it always ended up making perfect sense. Mitch Albom was able to weave seemingly disconnected people and moments into a gorgeous tapestry of a rich and important life.
While I’m not a very religious person, I feel I’m quite spiritual. And this story really spoke to me and filled me with a sense of hope. I highly recommend this book and will do my best to get more of this author’s books off my TBR and into my eyeballs.
My Book Club’s Take:
We’re still at the stage of the pandemic where we’re meeting over Zoom. Too many of us (all but one) have some sort of risk factor so we’d rather play it safe.
Everyone enjoyed the book and we had some good spiritual discussions. We might not all agree on what we believe and don’t believe, but that makes the discussion that much more interesting. This is a wonderful choice for a book club.
I’m “hosting” the next book club, but it’ll be by Zoom again so I don’t have to do much to be host. Just pick the book. I decided to go with another book that’s been on my TBR forever. This is one most people who know me assume I already read. We’re reading The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. We’ll be meeting on Tuesday, November 17. If you have any thoughts or questions you’d like me to bring to my book club, feel free to send me a message before that date. I’m thinking a lot of you have already read this one. If not, maybe you can use this as an excuse to finally pick it up like I’m doing.