"This is a story about a man named Eddie and it begins at the end, with Eddie dying in the sun." After these first words, readers learn that Eddie is the maintenance man at a pier amusement park. He dies in a ride mishap on his 83rd birthday.
Eddie wakes up in heaven and is met by a stranger who explains, "There are five people you meet in heaven. Each of us was in your life for a reason. You may not have known the reason at the time, and that is what heaven is for. For understanding your life on earth."
In The Five People You Meet in Heaven, Eddie re-examines his past through flashbacks. He thought his life was wasted as a widowed maintenance man. His journey through the afterlife helps Eddie understand the impact he had on others while alive.
Mitch Albom took some big risks with this short novel. It's difficult to feed audience demand after publishing the incredibly touching phenomenal bestseller Tuesdays with Morrie. Would readers embrace the popular columnist's fiction as well?
The Five People You Meet in Heaven is heavy on fantasy, but it's not cheesy or sappy. Eddie's life tragedies are heartfelt. Albom writes successfully and confidently, evoking deep feelings in readers without relying on a saccharine sweet storyline.
This Albom work is short, simple and quite enjoyable. The author doesn't try to interpret heaven or preach a particular sermon. Basically, The Five People You Meet in Heaven is just Eddie's story and it definitely appeals to a wide audience.