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The novel The Five People You Meet in Heaven is written by Mitch Albom.

This novel was

published in 2003 and is about a character named Eddie, who is a crippled veteran of World
War II. Life has been hard for him, beginning with his abusive drunk father who earns his
living maintaining the equipment for an amusement park named Ruby Pier. The only bright
and redeeming feature of Eddie's growing-up years is his mother, who loves him very much
but does not prevent his father from neglecting him, beating him and abusing him verbally
and emotionally.
Originally, I thought this book was going to be about religion, but it caught my interest in the
very first chapter and I could not put it down.

The main character, Eddie, learns the true meaning of his life when he meets five people in
heaven from his past. There are moments he needs to relive and others he never even knew.
These are somewhat shocking and breathtaking for both Eddie and the reader.

At the beginning of the story, Eddie is harsh and unfriendly, but as the book progresses his
character begins to develop. Memories allow him to realize the true meaning behind his life.

This thrilling novel speaks the truth of what happened. It is surprising, since you never know
whom Eddie will meet next in heaven and what lesson he will learn. The Five People You
Meet in Heaven will teach you much. It might make you cry as well as laugh.
The novel opens at Ruby Pier on Eddie's 83rd birthday. Eddie works as a maintanence
worker or a repairman at the amusement park called Ruby Pier. He goes about his normal
routine until one of the rides breaks. Eddie gives a fellow worker, Dominquez, instructions
on how to fix the ride; however, one of the carts breaks free from the ride and falls to the
pier. Eddie jumps out of the way and tries to push a little girl out of the path of the falling
cart. Eddie does not get out of the way in time and is killed by the falling cart.
Eddie wakes up and find himself floating in the air. He wonders where he is and meets his
first person which known as the Blue Man. The Blue Man informs Eddie that he is in heaven
and he is going to meet five people in heaven whose lives he has somehow affected. The
Blue Man tells Eddie how he is indirectly responsible for his death: When Eddie was a child,
he and his friend, Joe were playing with a ball that bounced into the street. Eddie ran into
the street to get the ball as the Blue Man was driving by. The Blue Man swerved out of the
way, terrified that he would hit Eddie. Eddie ran safely back out of the street but the Blue
Man was still extremely anxious having almost hit him. His anxiety caused him to drive
recklessly and hit another car, which killed him. The Blue Man teaches Eddie his first lesson,
which is that events are not random and lives intersect or interconnected for a certain
After this lesson, Eddie finds himself back on a war ground, which resembled that on which
he fought during WWII. There, he meets his second person in heaven, his former war
Captain. During WWII Eddie fought in the Philippines and he, the captain and a few other
soldiers were taken as prisoners of war. During the captivity, Eddie is able to distract the
captors so he and the other prisoners can kill them and escape. When they leave the camp,
they decide to burn it down for revenge. Eddie swears he sees a small shadow crawling in
the flames and runs in after it. He tries to chase and save the shadow in the fire. The other
soldiers tried to get Eddie out of the fire; however, he was so insistent that he saw a child in
the fire that he kept trying to get in the burned hut. The Captain did not want Eddie to die,
or to leave him behind, so he shot him in the leg so the others could get him out of the fire.
This is how Eddie got the injury that made him very depressed for the rest of his life.

The Captain teaches Eddie the second lesson of sacrifice. Eddie finds out that the Captain
died trying to make sure the path was clear for the rest of his men to cross. He says that he
sacrificed Eddie's leg to get him out of the fire alive, and also that he sacrificed his own life to
save the lives of Eddie and the soldiers.
Eddie then finds himself in a mountain range. He finds a restaurant at the bottom of the
mountains and through the window he can see his father sitting at a table. He then meets
Ruby who tells him that it is her for who the pier is named. She shows Eddie a horrifying
scene where his fathers friend, Mickey Shea almost hurt his mother; Eddie's father saw
what happened and chased Mickey Shea to kill him. Mickey falls off into the sea and Eddie's
father saves his life. This is the night where Eddie's father caught pneumonia which later
killed him. Ruby allows Eddie to see that his father was being loyal to one of his best friends.
Ruby teaches Eddie to let go of the anger he has for his father.
Eddie blinks and finds himself in a room whose doors lead to different wedding receptions.
Eddie walks through the different receptions and meets his fourth person, Marguerite which
is his dead wife. She and Eddie talk for a long while, as this is the first time they have been
reunited since her death. For his fourth lesson, Marguerite teaches Eddie about the power of
love; she says that even though people pass away, their love does not die. Marguerite tells
Eddie that she loved him even after her death and that true love endures forever.
The final person Eddie meets in heaven is a young Asian girl, named Tala. Tala explains to
Eddie that he killed her in a fire; Eddie realizes that he had seen a child in the burning hut in
the Philippines during the War. Tala's skin suddenly becomes marked with burns and scars.
Eddie washes her free of all her burns and injuries from the fire. For his last lesson, Tala
allows Eddie to see that his place in life was to be at Ruby Pier keeping the children safe.
The tagline of this novel is All ending are beginnings. We just don't know it at the time..."
In The Five People You Meet in Heaven, the author author of the book, Mitch Albom gives us
an astoundingly original story that will change everything you've ever thought about the
afterlife -- and the meaning of our lives here on earth. With a timeless tale, appealing to all,
this is a book that readers of fine fiction.

Albom has said that the book was inspired by his real life uncle, Eddie Beitchman, who, like
the character, who was also a World War II veteran, who also died at 83, and also lived a life
like that of the fictional character, rarely leaving his home city, and often feeling that he
didn't accomplish what he should have. The Five People You Meet in Heaven is a tale of a life
on earth. Its a tale of life beyond it. Its a story about love, a warning about war, forgiveness
and there are no random acts in life.

Selling over 12 million copies in 38 countries and trasnlated into 35 languages, The Five
People You Meet in Heaven is the bestselling hardcover first-time novel ever.