Eddie is a wounded war veteran, an old man who has lived, in his mind, an uninspired life. His job is fixing rides at a seaside amusement park. On his 83rd birthday, a tragic accident kills him as he tries to save a little girl from a falling cart. He awakes in the afterlife, where he learns that heaven is not a destination, but an answer. In heaven, five people explain your life to you. Some you knew, others may have been strangers. One by one, from childhood to soldier to old age, Eddie's five people revisit their connections to him on earth, illuminating the mysteries of his "meaningless" life, and revealing the haunting secret behind the eternal question: "Why was I here?"
There are certain books that you read and don't ever expect to make such a huge difference in your life. The Five People You Meet in Heaven is one of them. At first glance it's a small book; a quick read. I didn't expect the tremendous emotional impact it would leave on me.
This book really took the concept of "heaven" and the "afterlife" and explored it amazingly. How many times have we asked ourselves what our true purpose is? How many times have we felt inadequate because we hadn't done something "extraordinary" yet? This book really adresses these questions and many more of the same nature in such a beautiful way.
“Sometimes when you sacrifice something precious, you're not really losing it. You're just passing it on to someone else.”
At first it's kind of difficult to relate to Eddie, the old man who's lived a long life. But as we go deeper into his story and experience "heaven" with him, we relate more and more to him.
The story was sometimes overly dramatic at parts, but that didn't diminish love for it. I loved exploring Eddie's life, loved seeing how every small act had a consequence in his life. I loved seeing the “interconectedness" of it all.
Honestly this book was a different experience than I'm used to. It took the genre “spirituality” and gave it a different meaning. But I loved every second of it. I'm so happy a friend of mine decided to lend me the book. I'm so happy I got to read this story. It will deiniftely get me through rough patches in my life.