Book Review: The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch AlbomPosted: August 16, 2016
A short while ago a friend on Facebook posted a message about a sort of cultural exchange, making a chain where you sent your favourite book to a friend of a friend. I received a couple of books, including this one.
It’s probably not the kind of book I would have picked up myself but that’s the beauty of the whole idea as it meant I read a book I otherwise would have missed.
The plot concerns Eddie, an ageing maintenance worker at a seaside amusement park who is killed trying to save a little girl from an accident. Upon his death he finds himself in the afterlife where he meets five different people, all of whom have played some part in his life.
They help Eddie understand his life, and life in general and help him move onwards to find peace.
I really enjoyed this book which is written in an easy, flowing manner that makes it quite a quick read. Albom isn’t a showy writer but he is accomplished in knitting his idea together and creating an engaging, emotive book. Some of it is easy to see coming but it’s a well crafted novel about life, death and the way our stories are part of other people’s stories.
It’s sweet without lurching into saccharine overload and filled with warmth. Albom reflects on how people effect others and how we don’t always know the full story, regardless of how well we think we know someone. (My only real quibble is a section where a wrongdoing is explained away and the wrongdoer seemingly absolved, which didn’t ring true with me, the excuses not being enough to erase the deed).
It’s a clever, warm read and presents a rather reassuring view of the afterlife.
Verdict: A clever idea executed simply and effectively, Albom writes with an easy, compassionate tone which makes this a thoroughly nice experience. In the best way. 8/10.
Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.