Mitch Albom’s The First Phone Call From Heaven, is a story that moves the reader to consider the question of life after death. But not just whether there is an afterlife or not, but also the question of if we could communicate with those in heaven, or better, if they could talk to us, what would be the result.
Albom is careful not to go too deep into theology and the conversations in the book speak only in very broad terms about the nature of heaven. I was reminded of the phone calls made from flight 93 on September 11th, when all on board knew that to defeat the terrorists meant that the plane was going to crash. What does one say in that last phone call? What would you say if you could speak to a deceased loved one? What would you want to hear from them? These questions and the book as a whole cause the reader to realize how fragile life is and how precious the relationships we enjoy really are.
The story explores how the news of such miraculous phone calls might affect the recipients, their town, and in the age of the internet and 24 hour news, the whole world. As one expects form Albom, there is faith, hope, love, and in this story grief and intrigue. I enjoyed how he wove details about the invention of the telephone into the story, which were not only informative but also helped emphasize the rapid pace of change, the importance of each moment, and how small incidents can often make a big difference.
It is a quick read, entertaining, sometimes emotional, and causes one to think about life, death and eternal life. Well worth checking out.
Posted by Jim Ritter, Library Clerk