110 of 122 people found the following review helpful
A wonderful book with an inspirational, comforting message,
This review is from: The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Hardcover)
In many ways, The Five People You Meet in Heaven is a simple little book; as is so often the case, the most profound of answers are revealed most clearly in the simplest of explanations. This is not a book about heaven in a religious sense; the truths it establishes are to be found right here in our own lives: every life has a purpose, every person and every action is related, and while you may not be able to discern it now, it all makes sense in the end.
Eddie represents all of us to some degree. Looking back on his life with regret over all the things he should have done or not done, he is almost a ghost of himself. Since the death of his wife, he has basically gone through the motions, working at the same job his father worked before him, dealing with the bad dreams brought on by his wartime experience, watching his body deteriorate to the point that he can barely get around, waiting for nothing, feeling nothing but regret. He always wanted to get away from his father and live an entirely different sort of life, yet he wound up taking over his father's job, living in the same building, failing to achieve any of the hopes and dreams he embraced so tightly as a young man. His wife was his only anchor, and she has been dead a long time now.
When we first meet Eddie, he is about to die. The end is just another beginning, however, and we learn the story of Eddie's life as the novel progresses. Heaven is not what he expected; he finds no peace here at all. Happiness cannot come without understanding, however, and five people are waiting to explain Eddie's life to him. They include people he barely knew or did not know at all, yet he soon learns what a huge influence he had in their earthly lives. Each one imparts to Eddie a lesson he must learn in order to find peace. I won't describe who the five people are or what they tell him; but I will say that the overall message is a really touching and significant one. Understanding is not a pain-free process, but it leads to the complete unburdening of Eddie's soul. The ending was nothing short of beautiful. It would have been easy to sit back and let an overly sappy conclusion ruin the whole story, but Albom does not let that happen.
While this is a great and rewarding read, some readers will never give themselves fully to the story and will thus wonder what the big deal about this book is. For many, though, The Five People You Meet in Heaven will provide an important level of comfort and inspiration for those who see only a past of regrets and no future. We all sometimes wonder why we are here and whether it's even worth going on day after meaningless, monotonous day. This book does not provide the definitive answer to such profound questions, but it does provide an answer - and it is a comforting one.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 17 Jul 2008 23:00:29 BDT
L. Dorward says:
I totally agree one of my friends had a berevement in her family i lent this book to her and it comforted her a great deal. I think its a fabulous book for people who have lost someone they love or even someone who is dying themselves
Posted on 24 Feb 2009 21:44:50 GMT
Claire Frances says:
Posted on 30 Sep 2009 08:51:36 BDT
Steps Ahead Fan says:
I have to agree, with Willow. What a brilliant review. I was recommended this book by a total stranger last night and will add this to my collection.
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