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The Five People You Meet In Heaven

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message 1: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Brereton | 49 comments to read

message 2: by Shirley (last edited May 23, 2020 10:15AM) (new)

Shirley | 48 comments Mod
Spoilers Alert

I think I was probably expecting too much from this, I suppose I was thinking of David Niven in 'A Matter of Life and Death' or even better Jimmy Stewart in 'Its a Wonderfull Life'. The blurb made me think I was in for a beautifully poignant tear jerker that made me feel happy to be alive, (something I generally do feel anyway) but even more so. After meeting the first person in heaven, I thought ok that's just the first maybe things will get a bit deeper as we go on but I felt progressively disappointed with each encounter. The blue man in fact had very little if any influence on Eddie's life since it was Eddie who had unknowingly halted his! The captain, yes fair enough an interesting part of the story, the events in the Philippines being pivotal to the story. Ruby... really could have been any one of a million different people who was some how vaguely responsible for the surroundings in which Eddie's life was spent. Marguerite... yes obviously the person he had loved the most, but who really had very little to say to him! Finally the little girl Tala, again a good choice but also a revisiting of the Philippines, and very flimsy chapter.
Albom explains at the beginning of the book that it is dedicated to his uncle to express how even an 'unimportant' life matters, but really let's just hope poor old uncle Edward isn't reading this in the afterlife. He would perhaps be a little perturbed to discover that he, like Eddie, had potentially killed two people - a fact that he was oblivious to during his life.
I'm also a little confused by the heavenly set up too, does Eddie actually have to hang around for eighty odd years in some sort of purgatory to wait for the little girl on the pier or does he actually get to float off with his wife? Also the announcement that the whole point of his life had been to protect the thousands who had played on the rides on the pier, was this not something he would already have been aware of? He took his job very seriously, even though it was a reluctant choice of occupation, but he clearly loved children so no great revelation really.
I realise this is a bit of a negative review, but I did think it was a sweet little story, just that potentially it could have been a lot more. It all felt a bit thin and pointless.

message 3: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Brereton | 49 comments I have just reread this book, after having read it several years ago. I absolutely love it ! It is a clear, concise read that suits me well. The story to me seems like a 'fable' in the way it is written, it seems that the author is giving us a story with a great deal of meaning. I love the way that it shows us that every persons life is no more or less important than another, that we are all entwined while on Earth, whether we are aware or not !
Shirley has discussed the story line above, so I will not repeat it. The five people he met, helped us to clarify his life as we read, for me it held together well. Yes Shirley, I was a little unsure about how long he would be 'floating in the ether', at the end of the story, it could have possibly been clarified by the author.

I loved some of the phrasing in the book, examples are:
1)The blue man held out his hand 'Fairness,' he said, 'does not govern life and death. If it did, no good person would ever die young.' Page 48.
2)Parents rarely let go of their children, so children let go of them. They move on.........Page 126
3)People say they 'find' love, as if it were an object hidden by a rock. But love takes many forms, and it is never the same for anybody. What people find then is a certain love. Page 155
4)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. Page 141.
Above are just a few small excerpts from the book, there are more that I enjoyed.

I gave the book five stars, for me it was a joy to read. x

message 4: by Shirley (new)

Shirley | 48 comments Mod
I found a lot of those ‘nuggets of wisdom’ a little bit wishy washy, similar in depth to the sort of ‘inspirational’ quotes you find repeatedly shared on Facebook. I think we both came at this book from different angles.

message 5: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Brereton | 49 comments I enjoyed the quotes, I found them uplifting. The book gave me a nice warm positive feeling as I read it. When I finished it, I felt as though I had been given a present, a reward, I love it when the book gives back to you like this. Does this make sense ? x

message 6: by Shirley (new)

Shirley | 48 comments Mod
Yes perfect sense, I just didn’t get that feeling from this book, I’m glad you did.

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