Very few writers can write on the same basic subject matter repeatedly and make each book sound fresh. Mitch Albom succeeds at doing exactly that. His subject matter – heaven.
In The First Phone Call From Heaven, several people in a small mid-western town begin to receive phone calls from deceased loved ones while one man receives calls from someone who was not exactly a friend.
Realistically, we know we cannot receive calls from heaven, but that does not take from the read. Albom makes us think. He makes the impossible seem possible. Knowing our thoughts on such matters, if you were to receive a call from someone who sounded like a deceased loved one and they said things that no one else would know, could you hang up and never give that call another thought? Or could you part with realistic (learned) thinking long enough to consider the possibility? You might not tell anyone for fear of being thought of as crazy. You might struggle with the idea. Or you might embrace it. I suppose you’d have to be in that exact situation to know how you’d react, but I imagine it would be quite similar to the characters in this book.
When we’re young, we believe in Santa Claus in part because we have no reason not to and in part because we want him to be real because if he weren’t, there may not be Christmas trees and lights and gifts or even an air of Christmas. Our disbelief is learned. So why can’t belief be learned as well?
This is another solid read by Albom. The writing is tight, the characters well-developed, and emotions ring true. 4.5-stars from this reviewer.
I have to say, I was surprised by the low number of ratings on Amazon considering the level of fame this author has enjoyed. I was also surprised to find this book in a discount bin at the local bookstore only two years after its publication. It all points to an unpopular book they are trying to get rid of, although the reviews I’ve read are good. Don’t let the lack of reviews or its discounted price fool you. The First Phone Call From Heaven will have you longing for one more conversation.
*Correction: The paperback version of this book has more than 2,500 reviews. I have the hardcover, which has only 12. I suppose the hardcover didn’t sell nearly as many, the reason for so fewer reviews.