The First Phone Call from Heaven: a Review by Shannon

Warning: this post may get a tiny bit sappy.

I’m sure a lot of you know the name Mitch Albom. Back in 1997, Mitch published a book called Tuesday’s with Morrie that was all about what his former teacher and mentor, Morrie, taught him. It’s a beautiful, inspirational story about what it means to live a full life, and also how we process grief and how we remember and honour those who leave us. dad gave me a copy of Tuesday’s with Morrie when I was 14 and it was exactly the book we both needed to read at that time in our lives, as we were both losing someone close to us. That book helped me to reflect and grieve, and ultimately, it gave me hope and comfort at a time when that’s what I needed. So, and like I said this is a sappy post for me, I owe quite a bit to Mitch Albom.

Every since then, I have read every book Mitch has written, and was so excited to take home an early copy of The First Phone Call from Heaven a few months ago.

The First Phone Call from Heaven is a novel about a small town that starts to receive phone calls from deceased loved ones. Mitch focuses on a few different character’s stories, from the recipients of the calls, to a skeptic who just lost his wife, to a journalist covering the story. Through these voices, Mitch weaves a heart-wrenching story about the power of communication, the grieving process, and how and why we choose to believe what we believe. Ultimately, this is a very hopeful story that will give people a lot to reflect on, especially if they have lost a loved one recently.

I won’t tell you if the phone calls are real or not, that’s something you’ll have to read and find out…

My favourite parts are when Mitch weaves in the history of the telephone, and why it was invented. It really made me think about all the reasons we pick up the phone, and why it’s so important sometimes to hear someone’s voice. Here’s one of my favourite parts:

“But the very first telephonic conversation, between Bell and Thomas Watson, standing in separate rooms, contained these words: Come here. I want to see you.

In the uncountable human phone conversations since then, that concept has never been far from our lips. Come here, I want to see you. ~ The First Phone Call from Heaven, pg 22

This book, like many of Mitch’s other books, will make a wonderful gift this season. At its core it’s about love, it’s about family, and it’s about wanting to see and hear the people you love. (Kind of like what the holidays are about!) Hence why I included that passage above. I wanted to show just how special this book is, how special Mitch’s stories are, and why I love this book so much.

I could go on and on about why I love this book, but instead, I’ll just encourage you guys to read it too. (And tell me what you think on twitter @shanparsons!) Seriously, give this book as a gift, or make it a gift for yourself this season. Take the time to curl up with a great book that will touch your heart, and make you think as well. And it’ll make you want to pick up the phone and call your loved ones, just to hear their voices.

(I definitely called my dad.)

Follow me on twitter @shanparsons

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