In Mitch Albom’s latest a group of people in a small town in Michigan start receiving phone calls from their deceased loved ones – from heaven. The police chief gets calls from the son he lost in Afghanistan, Tess’s mom calls after having died from Alzheimer’s, Katherine’s sister died of an aneurysm but now is calling her every Friday. Sully doesn’t believe in any of it, his wife is dead, he can’t find a job, and he just served ten months in prison for an accident that wasn’t his fault. When his 6-year old starts waiting for his dead mom to call him Sully decides it’s time to prove that the phone calls are a hoax. With the help of another man who is getting calls (from a man who blames him for his death) and the local librarian (this might be the best part), he goes on a quest to find out the truth.
I really, really wanted to like this book. I loved some of Mitch Albom’s previous works – Tuesdays with Morrie, The Five People You Meet in Heaven. I didn’t love his previous book, The Timekeeper, so I was really hoping that this book was going to make me a die-hard fan again. It didn’t happen, and I’m not sure why. Maybe I’ve outgrown the stories that he tells? Or they touched me because of a where I was in my life at the time that I read them? I’m afraid to go back and re-read previous books, scared that I will discover that I don’t love them anymore. Or maybe this just wasn’t one of his best works and the stories he tells are becoming to formulaic, with no real surprises left, no new discoveries to make?
Title: The First Phone Call From Heaven
Author: Mitch Albom
Publication: Harper, November 2013