Fear is how you lose your life.. a little bit at a time… What we give to fear, we take away from.. faith.
On a friday, a daughter got a phone call from her Mum. The catch? Her mum had passed away, and she claims to be calling her daughter from heaven. Little did she know that several other people got the same phone calls from the people who have died and claim to be calling from heaven. In a small town, things like phone calls from heaven spread like wildfire, but what happens when the news of these phone calls reached a staggering new heights, when the whole country heard of it?
For a book that started off about the loss of your loved ones and how life seems to just stop, I found the book to be easy to read. The flow of the story was smooth and beautiful, without selling the sadness of losing your loved ones cheaply. I think writing about sadness is tricky, you don’t want to be overdoing it like you’re making a show of someone else’s sadness, but you also don’t want to take the sadness for granted and ends up making it like you’re dismissing their sadness. I like to think that this book wrote about sadness nicely and respectfully. So, yeah, I think it was a nice unexpected feeling.
It was an enjoyable experience to have read this book, even with so many layers to it, what with the number of people getting the phone calls from heaven (boy, am I using the term loosely here). I had a really good time reading it because I don’t feel like I need to keep tabs on the many characters; it was written nicely that you felt close to the characters as if they were your neighbours. What I found to be most interesting is when the story took to explaining about how one story could go viral through the power of a clickety clack of a mouse; this is interesting because this story was written in 2013, and yet the description that Albom made in the book seems to be fitting of life in 2016, three years after the book was written.
The most entertaining part to the story is that you really don’t know where the book is going, one moment it feels like it’s about loss and hope, the next moment, it turned into a detective/mystery story. I might not know where the book is going, but I know enough that the book is far from boring. Eventually I think the book did turned into a mystery solving sort of story with our main character, Sully, trying to decode the truth behind the so-called calls from heaven. Now, this is where the story reached a whole new level of interesting, I felt like I’m on the edge of my seat trying to guess whether or not there is some truth to the phone calls or if everything was just bogus?
That being said, the feeling didn’t last very long because the ending was such a disappointment for me. I feel like a story that started off very promising and entertaining, ended its run like it’s a biscuit being left out in the sun for far too long, it went stale. Even calling it stale, is just putting it mildly. To be perfectly honest I was just angry at the ending. I feel like by writing the last part of the story, Albom was justifying an act of lying to people in the name of making people believe in the existence of God or some sort of divine power. I’m not saying I don’t believe in God or that I’m a religious person, I am somewhere in the middle. I just don’t think that lying to people just to make them believe in God negates the whole purpose and teachings of religion, that at the end of the day, your belief was only based on a lie that someone told you.
Even though the ending eventually bodes well with me, I feel like the ending to Sully’s story was just a sad attempt to justify the premise again. It was just annoying and pathetic, and I’m furious that a story I came to enjoy ended up being a story I couldn’t enjoy anymore. Having said that, do remember that this is just my personal opinion.
I started this book feeling super excited to recommend it to a friend, but having my exponentially disappointment about the ending, I am questioning whether or not I would recommend this to a friend. But, feel free to give this book a try if you’re a fan of Albom, because truthfully this was a good book, I was just miffed about the ending.
Title: The First Phone Call from Heaven
Author: Mitch Albom
Genre: Fiction, Contemporary, Mystery