It’s a tour day! Today’s title is Mitch Albom’s latest release, The First Phone Call From Heaven…
About Mitch Albom:
Mitch Albom is an internationally renowned and best-selling author, journalist, screenwriter, playwright, radio and television broadcaster and musician. His books have collectively sold more than 35 million copies worldwide; have been published in forty-eight territories and in forty-four languages around the world; and have been made into Emmy Award-winning and critically-acclaimed television movies.
About The First Phone Call from Heaven:
One autumn day, in a small town on Lake Michigan, the phones begin ringing. The people calling are all deceased. They talk about heaven. They say they are safe and happy. Each call is greeted differently—some with relief, some with love, some with religious zeal, some with fear.
On that same day, Sully Harding is released from jail for a crime he may not have committed. During his time behind bars, his wife, Giselle, passed away, leaving him a single father filled with heartbreak and regret. He returns to his hometown hoping to rebuild his life. Instead, he finds a community increasingly gripped by miracle fever. As the mysterious phone calls become more frequent, outsiders begin flocking from all over the world to be part of the blessing, changing the small town indelibly, and turning local citizens into worshipped heroes.
When his own son begins to carry a toy cell phone awaiting word from his mother, Sully has had enough. He sets out to prove that the phenomenon is a hoax. But is it? Or could this be the world’s greatest miracle? Do the calls give people hope, or do they imprison the receivers to a never-ending cycle of grief?
The story follows several residents whose lives have been irrevocably touched when they are confronted with evidence that heaven exists. This remarkable novel takes us on a journey both of individual healing and society’s response to the question of life after life.
Part mystery, part allegory, The First Phone Call from Heaven is a heart-racing page-turner and a soul-fulfilling tale of faith, hope and love.
I had a hard time deciding how to write this review. My one-and-only Albom reading was an uplifting title (and I’m ready for another) so I had to give this a whirl. With a title like “The First Phone Call from Heaven”, how could I not?
As it turns out, I would’ve been alright skipping it.
The premise is intriguing – what would happen if people started getting phone calls from heaven, phone calls from their deceased loved ones? As it happens, some residents in the small town of Coldwater, Michigan find out. It doesn’t take long for the initial incredulity (if there was any) to turn to outright acceptance and proclamations of the miraculous soon abound.
I actually enjoyed this part of the story – these different people had a light shone upon them, if you will, and the joy it brings is indescribably emotional. Too soon, though, reality rears its head, and everyone (it seems) come crawling out of the woodwork – the faithful, the protestors, and yes, the profiteers. Almost lost in the crowd is one very skeptical man who’s trying to get his life back on the tracks after an unexpected derailment.
I liked some of the characters, their emotional journey throughout this story, how real they are. But I felt like they were predictable, and there wasn’t any true depth to them. I wanted more, but got pages of history instead. Not that I’m complaining about that – Alexander Graham Bell is pretty interesting, after all…
As for the ending – the cynic in me said “oh, of course” while the hopeful rejoiced that there was at least one little part left unexplained. Some of you will love The First Phone Call from Heaven. Others won’t. You read it and let me know. 😉
drey’s rating: Ok
Have you read The First Phone Call from Heaven? If you haven’t, read on to win your own copy!
Thanks to the publisher and TLC Book Tours, I have one copy of The First Phone Call from Heaven for you. This one’s open to US & Canada residents. To enter, fill out the form below before December 2nd. Good luck!