I read Mitch Albom’s The 5 People you meet in Heaven over Christmas, and was hooked the moment I read the first page. A beautiful folklore style novel covering the final moments of Ruby Pier Amusement Park maintenance guy, Eddie. His character distinctly reminding me of Clint Eastwood’s character Walt Kowalski from Gran Turino. He’s that quiet, old war veteran who evokes an air of respect with everyone he meets.
After a freak accident including an aptly named ride “Eddie’s Downfall” on his 83rd birthday we are asked the age old question of “Why are we here?“. During Eddies story we meet 5 people, obviously, I mean why else would the book have such a title? These five people have all been waiting for Eddie, in order to explain what impact he had on their lives and them his.
The first person “The Blue Man” highlights why and how peoples lives intertwine. The other stories pretty much cover the same concept, all answering that one question we all have. We watch Eddie reveal his life’s regrets and agonies, and the novel helps express that these things happen for a reason. All our lives intertwine and we all have a role to play regardless of how insignificant we think it is.
The 5 People you meet in Heaven is definitely not going to be the last Mitch Albom novel I read. I love his style, though at times I felt this book was slightly cliche, it was beautifully written and strangely, reassuring.