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#25 The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom Review

The novel’s protagonist is an elderly amusement park maintenance worker named Eddie who, while operating a ride called the ‘Free Fall’, dies while trying to save a young girl who gets in the way of a falling cart that hurtles to earth. Eddie goes to heaven, where he meets five people who were unexpectedly instrumental in some way in his life. While each guide takes him through heaven, Eddie learns a little bit more about what his time on earth meant, what he was supposed to have learned, and what his true purpose on earth was. Throughout there are dramatic flashbacks where we see scenes from his troubled childhood, his years in the army in the Philippines jungle, and with his first and only love, his wife Marguerite.
So one of my besties had been going on about this book for years and I finally managed to pick up a copy at a market stall (the one doing six books for £5). I wanted something short and easy to read after The Casual Vacancy so I picked up this one night and read it through. It really was a lovely read. I’m not the best at book reviews as I’m so worried I’m going to ruin it for anyone who wants to read it so I apologise if this is short.
What I really loved about this book was it’s concept and the way it deals with the idea of what happens after you die. I don’t follow any religion or believe there is one true God, creator of all etc I just think of religion as a mass of contradictions and a way of controlling a populations, in some ways I even see it as a dictatorship. However, I wouldn’t say I was an atheist. I do believe that something happens after you die.. maybe it’s a childish thing because I don’t want to believe there is nothing. Anyway, enough about what I believe. What I liked about The Five People You Meet in Heaven, is it’s concept of what happens. As the title suggests, you meet five people in Heaven when you die and these five people explain parts of your life to help it make sense. To me, this is a lovely heart warming idea, even though you might not want to hear some of the things they have to say, the concept behind it really touched me (which was probably why I cried quite often). 
The book was also beautifully written and even though I’d read some reviews stating it was predictable and boring, I didn’t find that. Yes there was no twist or chapter ending cliff hangers, it was just a pleasure to read. And for me, since these days I don’t find a lot of time to do it, that is what reading is. My life is such a stress trying to raise my daughter alone, dealing with a psychotic ex who harasses me daily, working, trying to scrape together some money for somewhere to live then the worries of if I’ll be able to afford it once i’m there, family stress.. I half expect to drop dead some days from it all so for me, reading is my only way to relax. I really appreciate it what a book comes along that is easy and satisfying to read without it being too much of a chick lit, which is exactly what this was.

There were so many lovely quotes in this book, but if I had to pick ones my favourite, it would be this

“Lost love is still love, Eddie. It takes a different form, that’s all. You can’t see their smile or bring them food or tousle their hair or move them around a dance floor. But when those sense weaken, another heightens. Memory. Memory becomes your partner. You nurture it. You hold it. You dance with it. Life has to end,” she said. “Love doesn’t.”  
I really recommend you give this book a read if you need a quick boost of hope. That’s really what it was with me..

 

Now reading… The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
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