The First Phone Call from Heaven by Mitch Albom
(Harper, 2013, 326 pages)
“What if the end is not the end?” From the beloved author of the #1 New York Times bestsellers Tuesdays with Morrie and The Five People You Meet in Heaven comes his most thrilling and magical novel yet—a page-turning mystery and a meditation on the power of human connection. One morning in the small town of Coldwater, Michigan, the phones start ringing. The voices say they are calling from heaven. Is it the greatest miracle ever? Or some cruel hoax? As news of these strange calls spreads, outsiders flock to Coldwater to be a part of it. At the same time, a disgraced pilot named Sully Harding returns to Coldwater from prison to discover his hometown gripped by “miracle fever.” Even his young son carries a toy phone, hoping to hear from his mother in heaven. As the calls increase, and proof of an afterlife begins to surface, the town—and the world—transforms. Only Sully, convinced there is nothing beyond this sad life, digs into the phenomenon, determined to disprove it for his child and his own broken heart. Moving seamlessly between the invention of the telephone in 1876 and a world obsessed with the next level of communication, Mitch Albom takes readers on a breathtaking ride of frenzied hope. The First Phone Call from Heaven is Mitch Albom at his best—a virtuosic story of love, history, and belief.
I have to say that I’m a big fan of Mitch Albom. I was so looking forward to reading this book. His books just have a tendency to draw you into them. I just loved Tuesdays with Morrie! If I’m being honest though, sadly, I think this missed the mark a little for me. I didn’t care for all the references going back and forth talking about the invention of the telephone. I think it took something away from the story.
It did catch my attention, though, and I wanted to finish it to read the outcome. Maybe my expectations were too high. It just didn’t move me like his other books did. This wasn’t exactly what I had hoped it would be. But, it really does have all the qualities that Mitch Albom is known for. I think plenty of people will connect with it, maybe more than I did.