FIRST PHONE CALL FROM HEAVEN: BOOK REVIEW

This book was published in 2013 and I just read it today.  I was hesitant to read this book as I felt like this is another preachy book about dying, life after death, and proof of existence of heaven.  But the moment I finished reading this on the first chapter of the book

 small beep sounded. Tess heard static. And then.

“It’s Mom. . . . I need to tell you something.”

Tess stopped breathing. The receiver fell from her fingers.

Her mother died four years ago.

 I got hooked and decided to finish this book by Mitch Albom.

It is a story about six people in small town called Coldwater which is near Canada and Lake Michigan, who got a surprise call from their dead families, friends, and relatives.  This book tells so many things like how different people deal with miracles; skepticism and acceptance for example are common instinct.  How different religions take the situation objectively and how members of the flock take it individually.

Moving on from one chapter to another, I realized that this book is like the Philippine movie classic Himala (Miracle) in terms of context.  In the book, the miracle was about people receiving phone calls from people in heaven. In the movie, it was about an ordinary girl who witnessed an apparition. Both the book and the movie progressed on how a small town caught national interest and how people exploited the situation.

The book however delivered a logical resolution to the story by revealing that the miracle was indeed a hoax and was an act of penance.  Yes, if you are religious, you would say that Mitch Albom was a killjoy by killing the hopes of readers that there is indeed a miracle and heaven even if it is just only fiction.

The book was cleverly written and it is quite a challenge writing a story with 6 major characters interspersing with each other.  It is easy to read as the author told it directly with less emphasis on vivid descriptions and went straight to the story.  Thus, readers will be surprised to realize that he or she has finished the book in an hour or less.

But the book is just a good read and not so inspirational.  You feel like reading a suspense story because Sully Harding was convinced that there is no miracle and heaven and he went on proving about it.  The climax was quite uninspired when the author decided to have an ending where Sully received a letter from the antagonist explaining reason why Horace had to do what he did.

The Verdict

It was fun to read all the way with some parts eliciting some tears for the readers and some parts will a little bit provoke his or her sensibilities.  That’s just it.

 

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