Originally published: 5 September 2019
Author: Mitch Albom
Published by: Sphere
Length: 224 pages
Reading dates: 7-8 September 2019
The Next Person You Meet in Heaven is a sequel to the immensely popular book, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, which I first read back in 2007. I would like to have reread it as a refresher but with so many books clambering for my attention, I just didn’t have the time. But I found I could remember enough, and this book was good at reminding me what had happened previously.
A quick recap. In The Five People You Meet in Heaven, 83 year old veteran Eddie, dies saving a little girl from a falling fairground ride. He awakens in the afterlife, where his life is “explained” by 5 people, some of whom he knew and some of whom were strangers, who help him answer the eternal question, “Why was I here?”
In The Next Person You Meet in Heaven, we meet Annie, who was the little girl Eddie saved from the fairground ride. Unable to remember what happened to her, Annie grows up with a badly scarred hand and a guilt ravaged mother, bullied by her peers unable to find acceptance. As a young woman, she works as a nurse and when she reconnects with her childhood sweetheart Paulo, she finally feels happy. But when her wedding night ends in a tragic accident, Annie finds herself following a heavenly journey of her own, where she meets five important people who will show her how her life mattered more than she ever realised.
What a wonderful story! We follow Annie in the current day as well as looking back to the difficulties she faced growing up, along with the 5 people she meets, this is a joyous and beautiful book. I love the idea of connecting with people in heaven who tell us why our life mattered. I won’t tell you who Annie’s people are, but I felt very emotional at times reading this. While Eddie’s journey was about finding out why he mattered, Annie’s is about her worries that her life was just a series of mistakes – indeed many chapters are entitled “Annie makes a mistake”.
Emotionally charged and heart warming, The Next Person You Meet in Heaven is everything you would want in a sequel. A quick yet satisfying read – just fantastic!
Many thanks to Millie at Little Brown for sending me a copy for review.
About the author:
Mitchell David Albom is an author, journalist, screenwriter, playwright, radio and television broadcaster and musician. His books have collectively sold over 35 million copies worldwide; have been published in forty-one territories and in forty-two languages around the world; and have been made into Emmy Award-winning and critically-acclaimed television movies.