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The Five People You Meet in Heaven    by Mitch Albom order for
Five People You Meet in Heaven
by Mitch Albom
Order:  USA  Can
Hyperion, 2003 (2003)
Hardcover, Audio, CD

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* * *   Reviewed by Marian Powell

Ever feel that your life is hopelessly ordinary and boring? Feel unconnected to the rest of the universe? Mitch Albom, who wrote the popular Tuesdays With Morrie, tackles exactly these thoughts in The Five People You Meet in Heaven.

This is a short novel of less than 200 pages. It opens from the point of view of an elderly man. He is lonely and bitter and frustrated, and totally unaware that he is about to die. The first chapter reveals snapshots from his life, and then ends on an accident that kills him as he tries to save the life of a child.

If that sounds like a strange beginning to a novel, the rest is even stranger. The old man knows that he is dead and is haunted by the question of whether he saved the child or if the child also died. The protagonist and the reader must wait for the answer until the last chapters.

Meanwhile, the novel continues with scenes from this man's life, as he meets 'in heaven' five utterly different people whose lives crossed his at vitally important points. Though he had viewed his own life as meaningless and isolated, he now begins to understand how truly interconnected we all are.

The Five People You Meet in Heaven is a small and touching book. It's not quite a great book, but it's a lovely little story, well worth the time spent reading.

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