Thursday, August 29, 2013

BOOK REVIEW: The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Alborn

The Five People You Meet in Heaven Synopsis from Goodreads: Eddie is a wounded war veteran, an old man who has lived, in his mind, an uninspired life. His job is fixing rides at a seaside amusement park. On his 83rd birthday, a tragic accident kills him as he tries to save a little girl from a falling cart. He awakes in the afterlife, where he learns that heaven is not a destination, but an answer.

In heaven, five people explain your life to you. Some you knew, others may have been strangers. One by one, from childhood to soldier to old age, Eddie's five people revisit their connections to him on earth, illuminating the mysteries of his "meaningless" life, and revealing the haunting secret behind the eternal question: "Why was I here?"

4 Stars.

"All endings are also beginnings. We just don't know it at the time."

I did enjoy this book. It is a very easy and short read, perfect for a slow afternoon in the office. 

This book starts out with the death of Eddie. An amusement park maintenance guy. He is 83 years old.  My first though was, retire already man! Your too old to be working!  Anyways, in a tragic accident of one of the rides failing Eddie dies. Poor old Eddie. On his birthday too! I love that. I think its poetic. I think it is a perfect cycle of one's life. (side note: I don't mean to sound morbid here, but I think I would like to die on my birthday too. Preferably after my mom's passed as her birthday is the same day and that would be a SHITTY birthday present for her.)

Eddie, wakes up in 'heaven'. And through heaven he is presented to 5 different people who have had an impact on the course of his life.  Even if he knew them or not. Each person had an important lesson to teach Eddie, as ' heaven is a place where you understand your place on earth'.

I won't go into the specific stories of each, as they would most definitely contain spoilers.

#1) Blue Man, a stranger who happened to be in a car accident that was caused by one of Eddie's wayward ball while playing catch with a friend when he was a young boy.
 lesson taught: All lives are interconnected.  Every choice you make inadvertently effects so many other people's lives.

#2) Captain- Eddie's Captain in the army.
 lesson taught: Sacrifice is needed. Yes it may cause someone else to die, but based on that sacrifice so many other things could happen.

#3) Ruby, Waitress and happens to be the namesake of which the amusement park was named after.
 lesson taught: Forgiveness and to let go of anger. Sometimes you need to look at both sides of the story in order to forgive. Allowed him to make peace with his father.

#4) Marguerite, his wife who died of cancer earlier.
 lesson taught: That love endures all. Love is a powerful thing. And will transcend.

#5) Tala, a little Filipino girl.
 lesson taught: Acceptance. His life had a purpose. And that working at the amusement park his whole life was exactly where he was supposed to be.

Now, I don't mean to go all religious on you, as I'm far from it but I liked the first stop because it's what I think 'heaven' should be. Free from pain. Consumed with happiness.  I liked Marguerite's story as well because it was one of the people that Eddie really wanted to see.

After reading this book, it makes you think. What five people would be your guides into heaven? What lessons would you need to accept before accepting peace? Am I supposed to be here sitting at this stupid office job for a reason? (which if I am, please let me know the reason, cuz it better be a good one!)

I recommend this book to anyone looking for a short, little inspirational read. Its not doused in religious undertones and I don't think you necessarily need to believe in heaven to read it. Although I'm sure you wouldn't pick up a book with heaven in the title if you didn't.... But, as I said before I'm far from being religious and I enjoyed it because it makes you think. Makes you question about your life.

Another one off of the ol' book bucket list!


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