The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
(Hyperion, 2003, 196 pages)
The Five People You Meet in Heaven, is the poignant story of a lonely man named Eddie who is a wounded Word War II veteran. His family and friends have all passed on and the only thing left in his life is his job. He is the head maintenance man for an amusement park called Ruby Pier. The book starts out on the day of his death when he is tragically killed on his 83rd birthday when trying to save the life of a little girl who was standing underneath a falling cart of one of the rides at the amusement park.
The story follows Eddie into heaven where he will be reunited with five people from different parts of his life. Some he has known a lifetime and others only in passing. Their purpose is to show him that his life did not go without purpose even when he thought his life had no value. Each lesson is beautifully paired with a piece of Eddie’s past. He discovers his life had more meaning than he ever could have thought possible.
Mitch Albom’s use of language and his ability to evoke real emotions from his character and the reader at the same time is simply amazing. It is a captivating book that deals with fate, death, and how everything you do can impact someone’s life including complete strangers. This is a simple and touching reflection of a life lived and how every life has meaning and purpose. This book is not intended to be philosophical or religious but rather an allegory about life. The Five People You Meet in Heaven is not only a quick read, but a warm and sincere story. It’s a real page turner; I couldn’t put it down! It made me feel hopeful and positive about the meaning of life. Definitely a must read! Thank you to Mitch Albom for sharing “Eddie” with us. 🙂