Mitch Albom was apparently a non-fiction sports writer before switching to fiction, where he’s become a household name- I’ve been seeing Tuesdays with Morrie and The Five People You Meet in Heaven everywhere, from Chapters “Staff Picks” walls to the NYT bestsellers list. Inevitably given their ubiquity, one of his books ended up in one of the free lending libraries near my house, which meant a short (free!) hop into my house.
For anyone who has somehow missed this boat, the novel follows Eddie, an elderly maintenance man working at a seaside amusement park, as he shrugs off this mortal coil for the celestial afterlife. On his journey to the other side he meets 5 people, each of whom crossed his path in life. Like the ghosts of Christmas past, each person brings him a lesson.
This felt like the equivalent of one of those heartstring-tugging superbowl ads- short, sweet bordering on saccherine, and although it lacks depth it is really good at manipulating emotion. Meh. I’m not sad I spent time on it, but I’m also not convinced I’ve been missing that much.
The title for this review comes from their review of the sequel, The Next Person You Meet in Heaven (which I will be happy to skip).