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The Five People You Meet in Heaven – Mitch Albom

I wasn’t sure about reading this novel, but I think it is important to at least try to read books recommended (or suggested) by other book club members. I thought the writing style was simple and that enhanced the message – I’m sure with this subject matter there is a temptation to be sweet or a bit overblown (just look at Touched by an Angel).

Here is the blurb …

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 tries to save a little girl from a falling cart. He awakens 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: “What was I here?”

The characters, Eddie in particular, are well written – I’m sure we would all recognise people like them in the real world. Albom has a lovely turn of phrase – there is a great bit where he describes children like glasses and how all parents damage their children some just smudge the glass, others crack and others destroy it totally. I did like the inter-connectedness of all people and how our lives and actions affect others – even if we’re not aware of that impact. It was also an interesting view of heaven – we get to make sense of our lives. However, for me, this novel felt like an American self-help book – not that that is a bad thing it’s just not for me.

Here are some other reviews …



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