You may already be familiar with Mitch Albom, the bestselling author of (to only name a couple) Tuesdays with Morrie and The First Phone Call from Heaven. The Next Person You Meet in Heaven is the long-awaited sequel to The Five People You Meet in Heaven and picks up with Annie, who, as a child, was saved by Eddie at the cost of his life.
We meet Annie on her wedding day with just fourteen hours left to live. From the opening pages we know that we are reading towards a great tragedy and we read on with a heady mixture of trepidation and apprehension. Leading up to the accident we catch glimpses of Annie’s childhood and the ways in which it was shaped by a single moment.
Mitch Albom beautifully captures the moments that make up a life. These moments made up of people that are inextricably woven, consciously or not, into the fabric that make up who we are. With Annie we relive moments that are coloured and remembered through her own fear and loathing at the time. It is only once she meets a series of celestial strangers and loved ones that she begins to truly see the important part that her tragedies and triumphs played in the bigger picture.
The Next Person You Meet in Heaven is one of those special books that makes you stop and think. It takes you out of the day to day for a moment to give you a chance to fathom the big and small, knowable and unknowable, and good and bad ways that we shape ourselves and others. For me the book was pleasant reminder that we are our own worst critics and, “that all endings are beginnings – we only need to open our eyes to experience them”.
What was the last book that gave you pause? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter @SavvyReader!
Here are to the books that open our eyes.