Standalone. HarperCollins (Nov. 2013) TLC Book Tours
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've only ever read Mitch Albom's Tuesdays with Morrie but it only took me that one book to fall in love with Albom's storytelling. I was delighted to get a chance to read his new book -The First Phone Call from Heaven, a story about hope in a small town. It's told from several points of view including our main character Sully, who recently got out from jail doing time for a crime he says he did not commit. He is left to take care of his son without his beloved wife after she passed away while he was in jail. Sully comes home to a town where people are claiming miracles. The dead talking to the living? Preposterous. Sully is determined to get to the bottom of these so called miracles so that his son can move on from his mother's death.
Sully is our skeptic in the story. He tries to find proof with various leads to figure out what is happening with this town. Meanwhile the people who are contacted are thrilled or otherwise terrified by what this all means. Soon local news gets into the action and the small town of Coldwater, Michigan is turned into a feeding frenzy of reporters, protesters, and believers. At first I was a bit worried about the growing amount of point of views we were going to get in this story but it turned out to be fine. I was able to get into each and everyone's lives and care about them especially Jack, a man who lost his soldier son two years ago. All the characters react differently to their phone calls so all their stories kept me engaged and wanting to know how they would grow by the end of the story.
A lot of what this book is about is based on the theme of hope but it's really also about ethics. It's kind of hard to say how it's about ethics. It's just the way the media and everyone reacted to the phones calls was very contradictory to what the message was supposed to be about but I guess that's the point? I also think the point was to think about how our society is now and I guess to just reflect on what happened in the story. Like Tuesdays with Morrie, this book was really heartwarming and a bit of a tearjerker as all books dealing with death or life after death can be. I mean picking up the phone and hearing a dearly departed friend? How could you not want that type of reaction just one more time...? If you enjoy Mitch Albom's books I am sure you will enjoy The First Phone Call from Heaven too. It was a wonderful story about hope, forgiveness, and letting go.
Thanks to TLC Book Tours and HarperCollins for providing me with a copy of The First Phone Call from Heaven in exchange for an honest review!