Mitch Albom’s the five people you meet in heaven is not a fantastic book. It is not the sort that would win awards for a storyline or characters or setting.
But that does not mean that it is not a great book.
In fact, it is one of the greatest books I have read this year. Put it this way, if you found Paolo Coelho’s the alchemist amazing, then you will definitely find the five people you meet in heaven simply breathtaking, and then some.
I know that the title makes the book sound like it is some self-help thing, but it is really a fiction. It does not even try to force the idea of meeting five people in heaven onto you. It is a story, true and true. It is the story of Eddie who is a maintenance technician at an amusement park. The old man dies one day while saving a girl from a freak accident. The goes to heaven only to find heaven is not really this cloud with angels and harps.
I am not going to give away the story by telling you how he saw heaven to be. Ha ha!
But the story simply tries to tell the reader this: that a lot of things happen in life that is just unexplainable and downright unfair. And sometimes, we eventually learn the reason behind some of these unfairness, but most of the time, we do not. In heaven, Eddie learns the truths about all the things that had to happen to him in life in order for him to learn several lessons. He finds reason, and what heaven is really all about: peace.
It is a story about hope. I would not exactly say that it is a spiritual book. I think hope is a better word. Faith that everything happens for a reason and reasons are lessons and that all lessons bring us to peace. Some lessons are harder than others, but all are important, for the destination is eternal peace.
It is not just that. The book makes me think a lot about the subject of death. No, I am not trying to sound morbid. Like I said, it is a story about hope. And true to the philosophy that everything will be clear one day, no matter how cloudy feels like today, the promise of a clear tomorrow will be kept. Someday, we will understand everything, everything that happened and why.
I highly recommend the book. Hallmark is going to air the film version of the book on Astro this Sunday (9pm) and of all the channels, I trust that Hallmark will make it just as excellent as the book. But still, read the book. It is very comforting and if you are anything like me, enlightening even.
The sort that every bedside table should have.