I have to admit, this is one of those books that brings tears to my eyes when I read it. While not one I originally expected to like, this book did touch me and is a very engaging read.
Its his birthday, and Eddie is about to die. He doesn't know its coming of course. He works like normal, repairing and maintaining the carnival rides of Ruby Pier. But something is going to go wrong that day, and he is going to die. He'll know it instantly, the light feeling he gets when leaving the earthly realm will help clue him in. But what he discovers in heaven is not what he expected. You see, Eddie is going to meet five people. These five people will help him discover what has shaped his life, and why things have happened the way they did. Each of their stories will touch him profoundly.
There are really minimal characters in this book because it is about Eddie exploring his life. His family makes appearances, but we see them more through his eyes than most others. And of course there are the five, but in order to not spoil the book by revealing their identities. Suffice to say they were well chosen and really add to the book.
The writing is easy to read although somewhat haphazard at times. We bounce back and forth between the present where Eddie has died, his experiences in heaven, and his past which mostly occurs on his birthdays. He also gets to experience other parts of the past in heaven as well. Despite this, the book is still easily understandable. It is also very touching. I wasn't kidding when I said before that some parts brought tears to my eyes. There are some descriptive scenes of violence, but overall the book is largely unoffensive.
I strongly recommend this book. It has a lot of depth and is one of my favorites. I actually haven't read anything else by Albom yet, but I look forward to doing so.
The Five People You Meet in Heaven