While I love the Twilight Saga, have read all the Harry Potter books (over and over again), adore all of Jodi Picoult’s books (especially Nineteen Minutes and My Sister’s Keeper) and think Marley and Me by John Grogan is such a great autobiography, I have to say that I was excited to see The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom on the 2010 A&R Top 100 list.
The book is all about a man who tragically dies trying to save a young girl’s life, and then he finds himself in heaven getting his life explained to him by 5 people, some of them were complete strangers (such as The Blue Man who almost ran over Eddie years and years ago, and then was so shaken he was in a car accident himself) or Eddie’s true love Marguerite.
I found this book in an op-shop (for only $3.50, what a bargain since it was basically new) and thought it would be a good book to read. 4 hours, 208 pages later, I finished the book and knew everything there was to know about Eddie. The book was quite short, but Albom is such a great author and was able to develop the characters so that in the short amount of pages, the reader knew all about their lives.
I liked the chapter names, even the first chapter titled The End, which has been done to death in lots of books but still fitted well. Most chapter names got straight to the point, such as ‘The Second Person Eddie meets in Heaven’. I liked this, it showed that Albom’s book was very serious and not a book to be messed with.
But my most favourite thing about this wonderful book was the fact that all the way through, right up until the end, I was thinking “I wonder if Eddie will meet the girl he died trying to save, did he waste his life trying to save her, is she dead too?” The end of the book was probably my most favourite ending to a book ever, where Eddie is waiting for the girl to die, so he can tell her about her life.
And the ending quote: “… That each affects the other and the other affects the next, and the world is full of stories, but the stories are all one.”
The Australian Literature Review