DISCLAIMER: I do NOT own The Five People you Meet in Heaven. It was written by Mitch Albom. But, Candycane wrote this review. ;)
Every Person is Important
In the gripping novel, The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom, Eddie learns his purpose in life. The book begins with Eddie left with only minutes to live at an amusement park, Ruby Pier. Eddie is the maintenance man at the park, which used to be his father's job. Eddie dies in an accident at the park trying to save a little girl's life. The author demonstrates through Eddie that we are more important, more connected, and more loved than we realize.
Eddie is a childless widower living in a modest apartment overlooking his job site, the amusement park. He limps from a wartime injury, and has disturbing visions about whether or not he burned a person to death in the war. He regrets not leaving his maintenance job earlier in life to try to find something more successful. He carries a grudge against his abusive father and compares himself with his financially successful brother, a salesman with a family. Regardless, he is talented in his maintenance job and keeps the rides running smoothly. In life, he never realizes how important he is to the safety of children.
Eddie's eighty-third birthday is his last day to live. A rider has unintentionally dropped a car key into a ride cable, causing a ride to fail. Eddie jumps in front of a ride cart to try to save a little girl who is in danger of being smashed by the ride cart. He dies.
At first, he feels no worry or pain and cannot speak. Then, he meets five people one at a time who were somehow connected with his life.
The first person in heaven that Eddie meets is Joseph Corvelzchik, also known as the Blue Man. The Blue Man had died decades ago of a heart attack because he had almost run over Eddie while driving. It took place on Eddie's fifth birthday. Eddie had run out in the street to fetch his birthday present, a baseball. The Blue Man tells Eddie the story of his life and teaches him a lesson. "That there are no random acts. That we are all connected. That you can no more separate on life from another than you can separate a breeze from the wind" (Albom 48).
The second person Eddie meets is his captain from the war. He went through horrible experiences with his captain and fellow soldiers including forced mining labor in a prisoner of war camp. The captain gives Eddie a lesson. "Sacrifice is a part of life" (Albom 93). The captain reveals to Eddie that he is the one who shot Eddie in the leg during the war.
The third person Eddie meets is a woman named Ruby. Ruby is the wife of the original owner at the Ruby Pier Amusement Park. Ruby tells Eddie the story of why his father died. Her lesson to Eddie is very important. "Holding anger is a poison. It eats you from inside. We think that hating is a weapon that attacks the person who harmed us. But hatred is a curved blade. And the harm we do, we do to ourselves. Forgive, Edward. Forgive" (Albom 141,142).
The fourth person that Eddie meets is his wife, Marguerite. At first he doesn't believe he is really with her after so many years. Then, for the first time in heaven, he cries. They talk about many things, but she does not tell him a story. She teaches him something. "Life has to end," she said. "Love doesn't" (Albom 173).
The fifth person that Eddie meets is a girl from the war, Tala. Tala was in the building Eddie had set on fire. Eddie sobs again when he finds his disturbing visions are true. She, like Marguerite, does not tell him a story (with the exception of telling him that he burned her). Tala does, however, tell Eddie his purpose in life, which was to keep children safe. "Children," she said. "You keep them safe. You make good for me" (Albom 191).
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I recommend it to anyone who likes to read a book with action, romance, and an explanation to the plot. I would consider this book a classic.
Well, that's it (sniffles!). What did you guys think? Please review, because reviews are like candy canes and bubblegum!