"The Five People You Meet in Heaven" by Mitch Albom Book Review

"The Five People You Meet in Heaven" by Mitch Albom is the touching story of an old man whose death begins a journey to discover the meaning of his life. Yes, the story is about heaven, but even atheists, such as myself, can appreciate the message behind Mitch Albom's story, which seems to be that not everything in life is what is seems. Sometimes we are right when we think we are wrong and vice versa. In the end, you only have to answer to yourself -- in Mitch's version of heaven, anyway.

Eddie -- the main character of the story -- is still uncertain of his life, things he did and things that were done to him, when the moment of his death arrives. He dies suddenly, so he has no time to reflect on these things until he reaches heaven, where he meets five people who shed light on his life for him. As the reader gets deeper into "The Five People You Meet in Heaven," it becomes clear that, despite Eddie's seeming ordinariness, he has not led an ordinary life.

Even without the supernatural twist -- heaven -- in Mitch Albom's not surprisingly popular story, it is quite moving. Albom incorporates deep love, dysfunctional parent/child relationships, war, regret, loss and heroism into humble Eddie's story. Reading it, it is impossible not to sympathize with even the bad choices people make in "The Five People You Meet in Heaven."

This novel really makes you think about harboring negative feelings when life only provides us a single perspective. Mitch Albom unknowingly (or knowingly) asks the question, "Is there something you missed in life that could have changed your mind about something and potentially changed your life?" No matter your religion or perspective on heaven, this book is a must read. It is short, so you can forgive me the time taken if you don't like it, which I highly doubt will be the case.

Shelly Barclay

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