Author: Mitch Albom
Genre: Inspirational Fiction, Psychological Fiction, Philosophical fiction
Warning: This Review Contains Spoilers
The book “The Five People you Meet” in Heaven by Mitch Albom follows the life of Eddie, a lonely old man in his early 80s who works as a maintenance guy in an amusement park known as Ruby Pier. The story starts with the day of Eddie’s death when he dies saving a little girl from a falling cart in the park and subsequently lands in heaven where he meets five people who had directly or indirectly played a role in his life and change its course. Each of these five people sort of cleanse Eddie’s soul by explaining what happened to him and why it happened.
Throughout the story, the theme of human interconnection is highlighted. Albom wants to convey through this story that no matter whether we know a person or not or whether a person lives in our time or not, they somehow are connected to us and a small action of ours or theirs can have a huge impact on our life and can change its course. The writer conveys this theme by employing various symbols. The major symbol through which this theme is conveyed is The Rubi Pier amusement park itself. Eddie never wants to work in that park and wants to build his life outside it, however, all his efforts to leave that place are somehow altered by other people’s actions which frustrates him. He does not know there is a reason for everything that happens to him which he learns only when he goes to heaven. For example, it would not have been possible for Eddie to save Annie/Amy, the little girl Eddie died while trying to save. If he was not working in Ruby Pier, he would not have been able to make a change in her life by saving her. Moreover, working in Ruby Pier’s was a way through which he was redeemed of killing Tala unintentionally because he used to protect the kids at Ruby Pier.
The book is full of numerous quotes that I love, however, one of the best was when the blue man tells Eddie
“This is the greatest gift God can give you: To understand what happened in your life. To have it explained. It is the peace you have been searching for”
I found it quite relatable as throughout our lives when something bad happens to us, we want to find answers about why it happened. And why us? We do not want to understand that what wrong happened to us might have brought something good. Everything that happens to us has a deeper meaning and purpose which we do not understand at that time just as Eddie was unable to understand it in his life on earth due to which he was not at peace. Hence, Albom’s idea of heaven in this book is a place where we are explained why certain things happened to us so that we can find the peace that we were unable to find in the world which makes heaven a peaceful place for us.
I fell in love with the book the moment I start reading it. The way Albom builds the narrative and conveys the themes is incredible. Albom’s idea of heaven was very unique and different and I enjoyed reading every word of it. I was hooked to the book from the beginning till the end. Hence, I am rating this book five stars.