The First Phone Call From Heaven - Mitch Albom

My first Mitch Albom book was The Five People You Meet in Heaven, and my review on Goodreads says simply this: Read this one on the ferry back to Victoria. Crying in public is a little embarrassing.

I liked, but didn't love, Tuesdays with Morrie, so I approached this title with eager anticipation, hoping for a book that would touch my heart the way the first book had.

The First Phone Call from Heaven is typical of his other reads, and by that I mean that the goal of the book is to make you think a little about life and things that are larger than life.  In the small town of Coldwater, several residents begin receiving calls from loved ones in heaven.  Sully Harding, who has recently returned to the town after being released from prison, is determined to prove that the calls are a hoax (he has his own personal reasons for wanting to do so).  What results in a story that both tries to prove and deny the existence of heaven as the narration flips from character to character.

What I liked about the story:  It made me think.  There were some beautifully written passages that made me say, "Wow!"  There were a few characters' stories that really tugged at my heartstrings.

What I didn't like about the story:  There are a LOT of characters and the story flips around between them a bit too much.  While sometimes it was fluid, other times the switch was a bit jarring.  There were a couple of moments where the story became a bit preachy, but luckily it wasn't too much of the story.  I'm torn on whether I really liked the ending, or if I felt like I needed more.  It's a short read (just over 200 pages) and I felt like I needed just a couple more chapters.

It's perfect that this book is coming out before Christmas, since I think it's a good stocking stuffer for someone who's a fan of Mitch's books.  I'm already planning to pick up a copy for my sister-in-law -- if you loved Five People You Meet in Heaven, you'll probably enjoy this one too.

Note: I received an e-galley of this book from Edelweiss.  The fact that I received this book for review did not influence my opinion of this book in any way.


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