Thursday, November 04, 2010

Book Review: "The Five People You Meet In Heaven"

I just finished reading "The Five People You Meet In Heaven" by Mitch Albom. I read it reluctantly because I normally don't read books that are either sad and/or about death. I read this book after it was recommended to me by a friend. Thanks Rick :)

I loved it. I cried, which Rick told me I would do. The fact that I was reading the end in a laundromat surrounded by strangers wasn't even embarrassing. There I sat, with tears streaming down my face with a stupid grin on my face. And I simply did not care. I was wrapped up in the end of a wonderful story, that ended well despite the sometimes sad, tragic story. Yes, I got my happy ending,

And that is life. We have our joys and our heartbreaks. We have our happy times and devastatingly tragic times. You really can't have one with out the other.. and yes, I do subscribe to the the philosophy that the bad times help to make the good times even more wonderful... they help us to appreciate things. Society needs to appreciate things more. It's so easy to get wrapped up in feeling bad about our problems, our existence. It's so easy to wallow in self pity, so easy to be a victim.

And this is what struck me about this book. The main character was a man named Eddie. The books starts a short time before his death. As the pages turn, we travel backwards and forward in time, and between Eddie's life on Earth and his new life in heaven. This book kept my mind hopping- it never let me get bored. It kept me wanting to turn to the next page and find out what was going to happen. Eddie had is share of bad times. His childhood had it's traumas from an alcoholic father. He survived the brutality and tragedy of World War II. He fell in love and married the love of his life. He thought he was stuck working at a place he never wanted to end up in, and living in his family's old apartment for most of his life.

When he got to heaven, and learned the lessons that were waiting for him there. He learned that his life had had purpose all along. He learned all the good behind the bad. And even when learning about bad things that he had no knowledge of, there was still good that came from that.

Some of my favorite quotes from the book are:

Eddie: Does God know I am here? She answered: "yes"

"Lost love is still love. 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 senses weaken another heightens. Memory. Memory becomes your partner. You nurture it. You hold it. You dance with it.
--Eddie's Wife"

"Holding anger is a poison...It eats you from inside...We think that by hating someone we hurt them...But hatred is a curved blade...and the harm we do to others...we also do to ourselves."

This is a powerful, uplifting book. I came away from it feeling exhilarated and humbled at the same time. I highly recommend it!

1 comment:

karen said...

Annie, I'm so glad you read this book. I knew you'd like it!! It is a tear jerker, for sure. Nice review....