One of my favorite books of the year, The Returned, poses the following question: What you would do if someone you loved, who had passed away, returned? Not in a supernatural, zombie way but in a “what would you do” way. Mitch Albom attempts to tackle the other end of this spiritual spectrum with his latest novel The First Phone Call From Heaven. Instead of people returning, they — you guessed it — call their loved ones from heaven. So just think: what would you do if you were enjoying dinner one night with your family and your phone rang. You get up to answer it, thinking it must be a telemarketer and it’s a voice you haven’t heard in years but would recognize in a nanosecond. It’s your _______. Would you believe it? Think someone was playing a prank? What would you do? That is the premise behind Albom’s newest book.
Albom, who is best known for his breathtakingly powerful non-fiction, especially the beloved Tuesdays with Morrie, creates a world in Coldwater, Michigan. A world, where people start getting phone call from their dead family members. From the zealots to the skeptics to the news reporters to the pilgrims hoping for their own phone calls, Albom has fun imagining what that impact — the impact from that phone call — would be like. He creates a main character who thinks the calls might not be genuine, creating reasonable doubt. He creates mystery and balances it with the reality that each characters’ lives have been changed.
Albom does a beautiful job balancing each of the individual characters and the microcosm of small-town life. The First Phone Call from Heaven is classic Albom: a story of wisdom, sentimentality and satisfaction. While the book centers around a theological discussion, it is more, in truth, about how our lives and choices affect each others and how our faith (or lack thereof) can influence the choices we make.
Albom writes a strong story and I think it would be interesting for book club to read this book and then compare it to Jason Mott’s The Returned. While I did enjoy this book, it does not hold a torch to The Returned. Do yourself a favor and pick up both and then let me know what you think.
You’ve read what I thought about The First Phone Call from Heaven. Why not see what my fellow bloggers thought of it!
Wednesday, October 30th: Semi-Country Life
Thursday, October 31st: Alison’s Book Marks
Friday, November 1st: Love at First Book
Monday, November 4th: Lisa’s Yarns
Wednesday, November 6th: Seaside Book Nook
Thursday, November 7th: Lesa’s Book Critiques
Monday, November 11th: She’s Got Books On Her Mind
Wednesday, November 13th: One Book at a Time
Thursday, November 14th: A Utah Mom’s Life
Friday, November 15th: Excellent Library
Monday, November 18th: Drey’s Library
Wednesday, November 20th: Teena in Toronto
Thursday, November 21st: Wall-to-Wall Books
Monday, November 25th: Lavish Bookshelf
Tuesday, November 26th: Peeking Between the Pages
Wednesday, November 27th: A Novel Review
Monday, December 2nd: Reflections of a Bookaholic
Monday, December 2nd: The Best Books Ever
Tuesday, December 3rd: Book-alicious Mama
Wednesday, December 4th: BoundbyWords
Thursday, December 5th: Walking With Nora
Friday, December 6th: The Book Wheel
Monday, December 9th: Suko’s Notebook
Tuesday, December 10th: Found Between the Covers
Wednesday, December 11th: A Dream Within a Dream
Thursday, December 12th: Book Snob
Friday, December 13th: Books a la Mode
Monday, December 16th: The Well-Read Redhead
Tuesday, December 17th: My Bookshelf
Wednesday, December 18th: Literary Time Out
Thursday, December 19th: Brooklyn Berry Designs
Date TBD: Good Girl Gone Redneck