This is a little book with big ambitions, a warm, wise, sentimental, bittersweet, magical feat of storytelling to give comfort and hope to those in need, or anyone who just enjoys a good story.
Eighty-three-year-old Eddie is a scarred and grizzled war veteran, a lonely widower, who has lost everyone he has ever loved, and lives every dull, dreary, humdrum day mired in regret, working as a maintenance man in charge of keeping the rides in good repair at a seaside amusement park called Ruby Pier.
When one of the rides malfunctions, Eddie dies trying to save the life of a child. The next thing he knows he is in Heaven, but it is not the Heaven of fluffy clouds, harps, and angels. One by one, Eddie meets five people who, either directly or indirectly, played an important role in his life, and via these encounters understands and makes peace with the life he led on earth.
This is a nice, warm, comforting chicken noodle soup on a cold or rainy day sort of book. It is not treacly-sweet, religious, or preachy,otherwise I would not have enjoyed it and declared it "a keeper" that has earned a permanent spot, alongside Mr. Albom's other novel, "For One More Day," on my overloaded bookshelf.