Eddie can see his death coming, an elderly maintenance worker at an amusement park, Eddie leaps to save the life of a little girl after a broken down roller coaster loses its grip on one of its carts. Mitch Albom describes how Eddie goes to heaven, where he discovers that before reaching your own perfect heaven you must first travel through five other heavens, where the inhabitants will show you the poignant moments of your life and the effect you have had, the lessons you should have learnt.
I was excited to read The Five People You Meet in Heaven because the concept just seems so interesting to me. I had never read any of Albom's other books despite hearing so many wonderful things about them, but I love books that question preconceptions about life after death and come up with different ways that it could work so I went with the reviews and grabbed it from the shelf.
This book is an incredibly quick read both because it isn't particularly long and also because it is so compelling a topic, the wonder surrounding the idea that five people would be waiting to tell you your own story when you die is so thought provoking. I read this in July, so I was bound to be more interested in this book than usual having recently lost my Dad very suddenly, but I think it is such an interesting concept that anyone who can think a little outside the box will have their interest piqued by it. While reading I wondered who my five people may be when I reach my own end, and whose life I may help to explain for them.
The story really is quite sad to read because Eddie believes that so little of his life had any meaning, he had so little confidence in his own impact on the world and in reading it becomes clear that he touched many lives even if only a small way. It warms the heart to think that we may all have inadvertently made someone else's life that much more important.
An emotional and thought provoking read, this is definitely worth picking up if you want your brain to start ticking while you read.