Every so often it is good to read a book for the soul, a book which keeps you grounded and reminds you of the important things in life: family, friends, etc. Tuesdays with Morrie, for me, was such a book. I thought The Five People You Meet in Heaven would also join that list but it didn’t even come close to the finishing line.
The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom tells the story of war veteran Eddie who now works maintaining the rides at a local amusement park. On the day of his 83rd birthday, tragedy strikes and he is killed saving a little girl from a falling cart. The main focus of this story is his journey to heaven where he encounters five people who explain his life to him.
The synopsis sounds heart wrenching, right? I thought so too but, while the story was charming, it didn’t bring the tear to my eye I was expecting. It was just to full of clichés for me. It really had the potential to be something special but it fell short by being too sickly sweet and overly preachy. Don’t get me wrong, it held my interest, but I didn’t feel like I wanted to live a better life after reading it, if you catch my drift.
I did like Eddie; he seemed a nice guy and there were points in the book where I mustered up some sort of emotion for him. I liked that he was a normal guy, doing normal things in his life and that, in the end, he was appreciated by people much more than he originally thought. I guess the story did effect me in some ways in that it gave me a reality check: you don’t have to cure a disease or become incredibly famous for people to deem you worthwhile.
Another thing I liked about The Five People You Meet in Heaven was that it is an easy read. Quite short in terms of length, its pages also hold large font, meaning it is a good book to choose if you are looking for something to while away a few hours in the sun.
Overall, I can’t really recommend this book. I just didn’t get enough from it and there are many, many better stories out there to spend your time on.