Saturday, September 28, 2013

Book Review - The First Phone Call from Heaven by Mitch Albom

The First Phone Call from Heaven

The First Phone Call from Heaven by Mitch Albom

From Goodreads:

The First Phone Call from Heaven tells the story of a small town on Lake Michigan that gets worldwide attention when its citizens start receiving phone calls from the afterlife. Is it the greatest miracle ever or a massive hoax? Sully Harding, a grief-stricken single father, is determined to find out. An allegory about the power of belief--and a page-turner that will touch your soul--Albom's masterful storytelling has never been so moving and unexpected.

Readers of The Five People You Meet in Heaven will recognize the warmth and emotion so redolent of Albom's writing, and those who haven't yet enjoyed the power of his storytelling, will thrill at the discovery of one of the best-loved writers of our time

I read Tuesday with Morrie back in 1999 I think - I don't remember a whole lot of its content now, but I remember it made me cry when I read it, and I even remember exactly where I was when I read it too. I keep meaning to read more of Albom's books, so when I was offered an ARC for this one, I said yes immediately (even though I am trying to limit my reviews since I just can't seem to catch up)!

It was a quick read - Albom's writing is short and concise. I expect (whether rightly or not) that there will be a message behind the story, and there is. It definitely makes you keep reading to see if there really are phone calls from heaven or not, and I like that there are closures to the story. However, I found the character development a bit lacking and I didn't really feel attached to any of the characters. So in the end, the story didn't move me much emotionally. The message was nothing really new, but it was a good reminder.

I also enjoyed the little bit of historical story about Alexander Graham Bell and his wife and the telephone that Albom tied to his story - I am not a history fan but like learning little tidbits here and there.

I do have one question though for those who have read this... I don't know if it's a loophole or not? I will put my question in white below with spoiler tags, as not to spoil the story for others:

If everyone really wants evidence, couldn't Tess have played her mother's message from the answering machine? I think Jack rescued her phone/answering machine from the fire right? Or was the answering machine lost in the fire and only the phone was rescued?

The First Phone Call from Heaven will come out in November. It'd make a nice holiday gift.

3.5 Stars.

Note - An ARC was given from HarperCollins in exchange for an unbiased review.

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  1. I'm itching for this one. My dad died about 2 years ago and I'm always wishing heaven had WiFi or phone service.

    I can't wait to check it out. Thanks for the review.

    1. I can't wait to hear what you think. I think those who've lost a close loved one would appreciate it even more.