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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Book Review: The First Phone Call from Heaven

The First Phone Call from Heaven by Mitch Albom

“What if the end is not the end?”
An allegory about the power of human connection and the power of belief is the basis for Mitch Albom’s latest book. Mitchell Albom is an author, journalist, screenwriter, playwright, radio and television broadcaster and musician. His previous books, such as “Tuesdays with Morrie”, “For One More Day”, “The Five People You Meet In Heaven”,  have collectively sold over 35 million copies worldwide; have been published in forty-one territories and in forty-two languages around the world; and have been made into Emmy Award-winning and critically-acclaimed television movies.

“The First Phone Call from Heaven” is spiritual without being preachy, is sentimental without being sickly-sweet, and while not necessarily a tear-jerker it will tug at your heart, so have the Kleenex handy for the end of the book. Publishers Weekly describes Albom as having a nose for ‘thin places’: places where the boundary between secular and sacred is porous, and ultimate meaning is easier to encounter. A story of loss, grief, hope, forgiveness, miracle and faith, this book climaxes around Christmas, which is kind of fitting. As the year comes to a close the novel can be a catalyst for reflection of all that has been in 2013 and the endless potential that is before us in 2014. There are many quotes within the book that provided me with a fresh prospective about the grandness that is life and all things in it.

There are two stories for every life; the one you live and the one others tell.”

“Bad news has no limits. We often feel it should, like a rainstorm that can’t possibly get any heavier. But a storm can always worsen, and the burdens of life can too.”

‘Miracles happen quietly every day – in an operating room, on a stormy sea, in the sudden appearance of a road side stranger. They are rarely tallied. No one keeps score.”

Regardless of whether your belief is placed in a higher power or just in yourself, I guarantee you will find this an affecting novel about coping, reminiscing, and living—because all of these things can happen, even if you lose someone you love. Albom's message is about the importance of healing and keeping faith in our lives.

Review by Naomi Vancaillie, Community Librarian at the Peachland Branch 



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