A touching story of how a complete stranger can have as much impact on our life as our closest family member.
THE NEXT PERSON YOU MEET IN HEAVEN is a sequel to The Five People You Meet in Heaven. When Annie was only eight-years-old she lost her left hand in a horrific accident at the Ruby Pier amusement park. The hand was surgically reattached but it left an indelible mark on Annie’s life. She doesn’t remember the tragic accident that killed Eddie, the amusement park mechanic but the accident left her scarred and the subject of ridicule while growing up
Annie struggles to find acceptance throughout her life, but feels as if everything she does is a mistake. When she reunites with Paulo, a childhood friend, she knows she has finally found happiness. They marry and this is where Annie’s story begins. A romantic hot-air balloon ride the morning after the wedding ends in tragedy when Annie falls from the sky. She is whisked into her own heavenly journey, where she reunites with Eddie and learns how her life on earth affected others.
“Had he taken the truck, this story would be different. Had Annie and Paulo not stopped for a final round of photographs, this story would be different. Had the limousine driver remembered to bring a bag that was sitting by his apartment door, this story would be different. The tale of your life is written second by second, as shifting as the flip of a pencil to an eraser.”
THE NEXT PERSON YOU MEET IN HEAVEN is a touching and thought-provoking chronicle of the impact of daily interactions on the lives of others. This short and simple story is written in the same easy style as all of Mitch Alboms books. He wrote the book as a sequel because for years after the first books came out readers continued ask him, “What happened to Annie and Eddie next?” Fifteen years later, Albom’s first sequel is born.
Annie is also Albom’s first female protagonist. The insecurity of Annie’s character is very relatable and moving. Albom’s inspiration for Annie’s character came from Chika, a five-year old orphan from Haiti with a brain tumor who Albom had brought home and had hoped to save. The book’s theme is about the rediscovery of our contributions and our connections, and the realization that life doesn’t go on forever. It’s about how a stranger or beloved pet can have as much impact on our lives as that of our closest family member.
The book is a quick and easy read and is written in the same light style as his original The Five People You Meet in Heaven. Readers who have enjoyed Albom in the past, will not be disappointed. It’s worth a read.
Mitch Albom is an author of several New York Times bestseller‘s books of fiction and nonfiction including Tuesdays with Morrie. He founded and oversees S. A. Y. Detroit, a consortium of nine different charitable operations in his hometown, and created a nonprofit dessert shop and food product line to fund programs for Detroit’s neediest citizens. He also operates an orphanage in Port-au-Prince, Haiti and lives with his wife, Janine, in Michigan.
“Why didn’t I feel this before?” she whispered. “Because we embrace our scars more than our healing,” Lorraine said. “We can recall the exact day we got hurt, but who remembers the day the wound was gone?”
Publisher Harper Collins
Published October 9, 2018