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The First Phone Call from Heaven

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  55,176 ratings  ·  5,374 reviews
The First Phone Call from Heaven tells the story of a small town on Lake Michigan that gets worldwide attention when its citizens start receiving phone calls from the afterlife. Is it the greatest miracle ever or a massive hoax? Sully Harding, a grief-stricken single father, is determined to find out. An allegory about the power of belief--and a page-turner that will touch ...more
Hardcover, 323 pages
Published November 12th 2013 by Harper (first published November 11th 2013)
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Mary I read this on my Nook some time ago, it's one of his best but then I think so with each of his books. He writes with such sensitivity & compassion.
I read this on my Nook some time ago, it's one of his best but then I think so with each of his books. He writes with such sensitivity & compassion.
Could not put this book down.(less)

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Average rating 3.75  · 
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 ·  55,176 ratings  ·  5,374 reviews

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Heidi Miller
Dec 07, 2013 rated it really liked it

"No soul remembered is ever truly gone."

P.S. Mom, I'm still waiting for the phone to ring!
I know that to some people religion is the basis of life and why they are 'here'. I think religion is indeed 'the opiate of the masses', it exists so people don't have to face up to the consequences of their own actions. They can blame it on fate, some old guy up in the sky, or lots of people up in the sky, or the one down below in the pit, or the ones with lots of arms or blue heads or two faces or or or... there are so many gods to choose from and everyone who believes in one or more of them i ...more
Dec 08, 2013 rated it it was ok
Interesting premise but was let down by the lack of emotional connection I typically feel when reading a Mitch Albom book. Was more of a mystery book then an emotional/inspirational book.
Jun 02, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: life-and-death
So ready to love this! Mitch Albom's books truly are life-changing and incredibly inspiring; I love each and every one of them.

Just realized the release date reads: eleven / twelve / thirteen.

edit on Dec 12th, 2013

I am truly, madly, deeply sorry, but this book landed itself onto my list of disappointing books of 2013. In addition to this year's Towering, Splintered, and The Ocean at the End of the Lane, know that it is with a heavy heart that I sadly rank The First Phone Call From Heaven among t
Jan 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
A nice, thought provoking little story which is interesting whether you believe in Heaven or whether you do not. Not that the author provides any great solutions as you are left at the end with as many facts as you have at the beginning.
The most interesting part to me was what happened to the world at large as people began to receive phone calls from loved ones who had passed on. At first it seems a good thing. Who wouldn't like to hear from a loved partner or child who has died, especially when
Rosa Schmidt
Dec 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved the backstory of Alexander Graham Bell as it coincided with the current day story, it has given me the desire to read more about Bell's personal life. My favorite quotes "What is false about hope?" and Faith is believing without the need for proof. I would read this story again.
Dec 28, 2013 rated it it was ok
I was not impressed with this book. Having just read The Five People You Meet in Heaven a few days prior, and loved it, I was expecting more of the same from The First Phone Call From Heaven. Unfortunately, nothing I loved about TFPYMIH carried over into this book. While the theme of TFPYMIH centered on understanding your own life in relation to others, the theme of TFPCFH just seemed to be whether it was believable enough that Heaven existed or not. Since the start of the novel I found it diffi ...more
Neil (or bleed)
“Desire sets our compass, but real life steers our course.”

This was my second novel of Mitch Albom. The first one was The Time Keeper and I love that book, carrying a lot of life lessons. This one, too. Mitch Albom is really one of the master-of-life-lessons writers.

The book speaks the story of a small town on Lake Michigan that gets worldwide attention when the media broadcast to the world that its citizens start receiving phone calls from their loved ones in the afterlife. Is it really the
Lloyd Russell
Nov 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
I have read all of Mitch's books: Tuesdays with Morrie, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, Have a Little Faith, For One More Day, and The Time Keeper. I've liked all of them, except The Time Keeper, a lot. The Time Keeper was just okay. This latest, The First Phone Call from Heaven, is definitely my favorite. Here is a very short synopsis from Goodreads:

The First Phone Call from Heaven tells the story of a small town on Lake Michigan that gets worldwide attention when its citizens start receiv
Kortessa Giachanatzi
Interesting as a general idea but a bit poor in its developement. It didn't keep my interest alive till the end.
Another solid selection from Mitch Albom. Random people in Coldwater, Michigan, begin receiving calls on their cell phones from loved ones who have passed on and are in heaven. Sounds incredible, but they can't help but believe it's a true miracle -- the callers' voices are the voices of the deceased, and their comments are too personal for anyone to be faking it. Coldwater will never be the same again, and the people who flock there are given a lesson in what heaven might really be like. Very i ...more
Dale Harcombe
Oct 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
In life people either believe in Heaven and an afterlife or they do not. Reading this book, the characters are also split into two camps. There are those who believe they are receiving phone calls from loved ones who are dead and others who dismiss the whole thing as a hoax. But which is it? Sully Harding is determined to find out the truth. The story contains interesting characters from different backgrounds who receive these phone calls and so the reader gets several viewpoints throughout the ...more
Sometimes, love brings you together even as life keeps you apart.

Before you read the book, don't forget to ask yourself this: How much do you believe in the story?

The First Phone Call from Heaven is one of my favorite books written by my favorite author, Mitch Albom. His books are mostly about lessons of life and beliefs in God, and this one is no exception. The story began with some phone calls from the characters' late loved ones in a fictional Coldwater, Michigan. (Even though there's a real
Mar 13, 2016 rated it did not like it
Silly, slow, and boring! Reading this turned out to be an utter chore. I’ve loved almost all of Mitch Albom’s books, most especially “Tuesdays with Morrie”. I’ve loved some of them so much, that we even own a few of the DVDs. Naturally, I was looking forward to reading this one, but it turned out to be quite disappointing to say the least. There were too many characters and I really didn’t care about any of them. The stories kept jumping around to the point of confusion and annoyance. I normally ...more
Jan 03, 2014 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sali Sabrawi
Jun 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Three stars in general, but two stars in comparison to “The Five People you Meet in Heaven” and “Tuesdays with Morrie”..
Rebecca Jo
Aug 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
On the day the world received its first phone call from heaven, Tess Rafferty was unwrapping a box of tea.

I was very lucky to get this book to review it before it is released.

I'm a fan of Mitch Albom's books anyways, & this one did not disappoint.

People are getting phone calls from heaven - some from family members that have passed away. Children, sisters. Even an employee is getting a phone call from someone he had to fire. Are the phone calls real? The world wants to know when
Dec 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
When I first heard the concept of this book all I could think about was the song by Justin Moore "If Heaven wasn't so far away", which is about what we would do if we could go visit our loved ones in Heaven. It's a favourite song of mine, and therefore, when this book reminded me of it, I knew that I had to read this book.

I have never read any of Mitch Albom's books before, but I found this one very enjoyable.

I lost my mother two years ago, and reading this book would bring me to tears just thin
How would you feel if you could speak to a deceased love one? Not through a clairvoyant or a Ouija Board; but simply on a telephone. How would it affect your life and that of your community? This is precisely the topic in five-time best-selling author Mitch Albom’s, “The First Phone Call from Heaven”.

Readers familiar with Albom’s works will recognize his short story-esque writing which aims to blend inspiration, theology, and philosophy in between the text of a fictional plotline. With that bein
Sarah Esmae Wolfe
Jul 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
A 4.5. I was a lucky goodreads first reads winner of "The First Phone Call From Heaven" I have always liked Mitch Albom's books. He has a talent for writing books that are heart felt and touching.
The First Phone Call From Heaven takes place in Coldwater Michigan. Sully has just got out of jail and is grieving over his wife who died in a car crash. He is trying to pick up the pieces and raise his young son. Soon news hits the small town that some of the towns people are receiving phone calls fr
Scott Southard
Oct 06, 2013 rated it liked it
You can listen to my book review on WKAR's Current State here:

If you would rather read my review, you can do so below.


Picture a bookstore as an all-you-can-eat buffet. Can you see it? There is the salad bar, the pasta, the breakfast area with the waffle maker, the giant slab of ham or beef. Okay, let’s skip all the healthy things and aim for the dessert table. You know how at every buffet there is that one enormous piece of chocolate cake?

Well, for me, M
Apr 14, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
The First Phone Call From Heaven is the third book I’ve read from the very talented Mitch Albom, a New York Times Bestselling Author. This is also my least favorite. Tuesdays With Morrie and The Five People You Meet In Heaven were both more character driven, entertaining and enlightening. Albom’s books do tend to grapple with the human emotions, faith and redemption and; this one was no different, just the least captivating. The First Phone Call From Heaven was intriguing in the beginning, drug ...more
Jennifer Rayment
Sep 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Once again Albom pulls at your heart strings and makes you think - and cry. Full review to come later

The Good Stuff

I think we all know by know that I am not much of a religion girl, but won't lie I am a sucker for Albom's stories. Mostly because they deal more with faith than with religion
pulls at your heart strings and makes you think - and cry
A neat little mystery woven into this tale of faith, death, grief, forgiveness and hope
You get a little history lesson about Alexander Graham Bell
May 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
4.5 rating! The Five People You Meet in Heaven is still my favorite!!

This is now my fourth book I have read from Mitch Albom. He has a way of writing that almost seems like you are sitting in front of him while he's lecturing, teaching, and telling a story.

This story is such a great book for conversation; much like the book, "Heaven is for Real". Albom takes this idea of the dead communicating from Heaven by telephone and turns it into a heart warming tale of forgiveness, hope, love, and belie
Beatrice Masaluñga
Feb 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: signed-copy, owned, adult
It's such an enjoyable and an inspiring read from Mitch Albom! He never fails to make me emotional. I recommend this book to everyone.

I love how this book focuses on different characters. Each one of them experienced of losing someone they love or someone closest to their hearts. Their faith has been tested, believing that God exists and there is life after death. Also coping up with loss. Miracles indeed happen in life, but miracles will come if you pray to God for guidance and of course, you h
Jun 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013-reads
You have done it again, Mitch Albom. You are a fantastic storyteller!
Jan 26, 2019 rated it liked it
The idea is excellent, but the book was too complicated for me.
Caroline D'cruz
May 25, 2020 rated it liked it
Rating: 3.5
"The end is not the end"
The first phone call from heaven is the first book I have read by author Mitch Ablom. For me the book was more of a psycho mystery book. The book was very high on suspense and mystery which was enough to keep me hooked on till the very end. The book had to many characters to follow and keep tab on. Some parts of the book were also dragged.

The first phone call from heaven tells the story of a small town on Lake Michigan that gets worldwide attention when its
Dec 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The day that Sullivan “Sully” Harding is released from prison, some people in Coldwater, Michigan began to get phone calls from heaven.
The news reported that Sully had been responsible for the death of his wife, Giselle. She was the love of his life and mother to their young son. It was a last minute decision to cover for a sick co-worker and a chance to see his wife that made Sully agree to fly that day. Unfortunately, he knew the rules against drinking before flying a plane when he risked eve
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Mitchell David Albom is an author, journalist, screenwriter, playwright, radio and television broadcaster and musician. His books 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.

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