Hi there, have you read “The Five People You Meet in Heaven“? Here’s the long-awaited sequel, The Next Person You Meet in Heaven, by Mitch Albom.
I don’t remember the first book although I read it, but it was a long time ago. The main character there, Eddie, returns for an encore in this sequel. Not as the focus of the story. After all, he met his five people already, right? This time, the spotlight belongs to Annie. Guess what? She’s the little girl that Eddie had died saving in the first book. How about that?!
We begin by watching Annie, now a 30-year-old nurse, getting ready to be married that day. You’ll read that “love comes when you least expect it.” Funny, Albom wants you to anticipate the death. You feel the dread as you count down Annie’s time on earth every time you read, “eight hours left…five hours left…”. And she even sees a ghost in Eddie among her guests. So, little wonder when the newlyweds go up in a hot-air balloon, we feel disaster looming.
What Annie learns
As you’ll expect, Annie goes to meet her five people. Each person gives her a lesson.
The first soul teaches her that good things can result from a bad event. “…perhaps what killed them is what led someone to find a cure.”
Ready for this? The second soul turns out to be her old dog!! A dog takes the form of an old woman! So, anyway, she learns that “No act done for someone else is ever wasted.”
The third soul teaches her about grace. We don’t always the intentions or motivations of others. Children often dislike their parents’ rules;. They seldom understand the love behind the “nagging” until perhaps when they become parents.
She learns about salvation from the fourth soul.
When she sees the last person, she asks, “Why are you here?” The answer, “The winds blew.”
The Next Person You Meet in Heaven is a short book, very easy to read.
What I take away from it: Everything happens for a reason. We just don’t know it in this life.
If you’ve read it, what do you think?
Here’s what Ron Charles (for Washington Post) thinks:
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