“Love, like rain, can nourish from above, drenching couples with a soaking joy. But sometimes, under the angry heat of life, love dries on the surface and must nourish from below, tending to its roots, keeping itself alive.” –The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
Ahhh… wasn’t that nice?
Five People was one that I just picked off the bestseller rack, having never read a review of it before, neither having read any of Albom’s other works before (The well reviewed Tuesdays With Morrie was published in 1997). Good title, I guess. Kudos to the marketing team on that one.
I liked this novel for such refreshing moments as I noted above. Stop and sigh, kind of moments.
Reviewers attacked this novel (little novel – 196 pages) for it’s sentimentality – calling it melodramatic and clichéed. Other’s say that it’s not a read for the “sophisticated” types.
I say, even though they’re right, it was a cute story. And I don’t regret the $15 I spent on it.
I do agree with the comments of melodrama and the sentimentality. Beyond that though, what bothered me most was that I didn’t feel Eddie, the main character, had much of a personality. He never grew past the point of the generic two-dimensional “bitter old man.”
Even if this novel doesn’t win you over with the writing (chances are that it wont), I cannot deny that Albom is a storyteller. I read this little gem in a few hours, four I think, from start to finish. Because despite the clichés and the flat characters, I was into the story. It’s a page turner. A heart-felt story, made me cry twice.
And as I mentioned above, it just has these cute little “awww” moments that make it worth while. Let me add another…
“All parents damage their children. It cannot be helped. Youth, like pristine glass, absorbs the prints of its handlers. Some parents smudge, others crack, a few shatter childhoods completely into jagged little pieces, beyond repair.”
Now wasn’t that profound?
I disagree that this book is only for the “simple readers.” I am a literary type, a “sophisticated” type – I can read all the big words without a dictionary, and I know an extended metaphor when I see one. But I liked this novel anyway.
It’s a thoughtful, feel-good, happy story.
~Laura Rae Amos