Monday, September 2, 2013

The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom // What's Heaven Like?

Have you ever wondered what Heaven is like?

For one thing, I have a very strong feeling it won't just be this:

That's too boring. And Heaven can't be boring - we're going to spend eternity there.
There's more to Heaven than just cherubs and clouds. I expect it will be more like the version of Heaven described in The Last Battle, the final book of The Chronicles of Narnia:

...that was not the real Narnia. That had a beginning and an end. It was only a shadow or a copy of the real Narnia which has always been here and always will be here: just as our own world, England and all, is only a shadow or copy of something in Aslan's real world.... And of course it is different; as different as a real thing is from a shadow or as waking life is from a dream.
Now that's an awesome Heaven. A Heaven that's like Earth - except perfect. (And you can get to Heaven-Narnia from Heaven-Earth in a matter of seconds - awesome.)

In Mich Albom's The Five People You Meet in Heaven, he gives us a different version.

When you die, you meet five people who died in your lifetime and who were somehow - even remotely - connected with you. Each one has a lesson to teach you, and once you have spoken to all five, you take your place as one of five people for someone else. It's a really interesting idea, because you see how your actions might have affected someone you didn't even know.
"That is what heaven is for. For understanding your life on earth."
Eddie, the main character in The Five People You Meet in Heaven, is the caretaker of an amusement park who dies trying to save a girl from a malfunctioning ride. Throughout the book, he cannot find out if the girl lived or died - until he meets the fifth person.

One thing about this book that is really interesting is the way that Albom ties it all together. In various points through the book flashbacks occur, always written in italics, with the title Today is Eddie's Birthday, detailing another one of his birthdays. The theme of birthdays comes up often, as Eddie got killed on his 83rd birthday. Somehow it ties it all up nicely.

I'm not going to give any spoilers, because I highly recommend that you read this book. Mitch Albom is one of the only authors who can make me cry - and not because of sadness, but because of the beauty, joy, and sweetness of life. He has a way of writing that is simple, and yet somehow reveals deep truths about life and emotions. I am going to read a lot more of his books. They are excellent when you are feeling down and need a bit of sincere joy to lift you up.


1 comment:

  1. This is a very well written review. I, too, enjoy Mitch Albom books. The first of his I read was Tuesdays With Morrie. If you haven't read it already, I think you'll enjoy it.


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