|1 “The Five People you meet in Heaven” by Mitch Albom, 2003
2 Bestseller in HK in Commercial Press until 2005
3 Same author of “Tuesdays with Morrie,” works as sports reporter
4 touching book, moves people to tear at the end
5 Eddie died at his 83rd birthday. He took up his father’s job and worked there as a maintenance worker in the amusement park.
6 “The End”
THIS IS A STORY ABOUT A MAN named Eddie and it begins at the end, with Eddie dying in the sun. It might seem strange to start a story with an ending. But all endings are also beginnings. We just don’t know it at the time.”
(after he died, this book begins to tell you the things happened his life) P.1
7 Eddie saved a girl from the falling cart. He pushed her out of the way. He felt this girl’s hands, but he wasn’t sure he could save her or not. He asked each person he met in heaven, “"Did I save the little girl?" But nobody could answer him.
8 Heaven is not like the Garden of Eden. It’s like a place on earth with trees and rivers.
The meanings of the book go quite deep and the way that it expresses is special.
The five people had no connection with one another. But they are important in Eddie’s life and helped him discover why things happened in his life.
lst person: the blue man
The blue man wetted his bed when he was a little boy. He drank silver nitrate which was found out to be a poison later on. The blue man turned blue because he drank too much of this liquid. Eddie had similar problem when he was five years old. He played baseball in the street one day. The driver avoided hitting him. He crashed and died. The blue man saved Eddie.
"Each of us was in your life for a reason. You may not have known the reason at the time, and that is what heaven is for. For understanding your life on earth."
2nd person: captain in the army
Eddie fought in the war in the Philippines. He burned a hut. He saw a shadow of a child. He tried to save her but he couldn’t. He didn’t want to leave until someone shot his leg. His captain put him in a safe place. His captain died because of stepping onto a bomb. The captain died young. He told Eddie he shot him and Eddie was very angry because he walked with difficulty for the rest of his life. Anyway, he thanked the captain for saving his life at that moment.
Lesson: when you lose something, you gain something else. "Sacrifice is a part of life", the Captain tells Eddie (p. 93). "Sometimes when you sacrifice something precious, you're not really losing it. You're just passing it on to someone else (p. 94).
3rd person: Ruby, the name of the amusement park – Ruby Pier
Ruby showed Eddie how his father and mother died and taught Eddie how to forgive his father and what he really did to him in his childhood.
Lesson: let go of anger.
In Ruby's words: "Holding anger is a poison. It eats you from inside. We think that hating is a weapon that attacks the person who harmed us. But hatred is a curved blade. And the harms we do, we do to ourselves" (p.141).
4th person: Marguerite, his beloved wife
Marguerite was the woman that he ever loved. Eddie’s wife passed away at the age of 47, he was alone for the next 35 years of his life. He deeply loved his wife more than anything else. When he saw her again in heaven, he didn’t believe what he saw. His wife looked very young. She looked exactly the way when Eddie first married her because she knew Eddie liked her that way most.
Lesson: Although life ends, love endures; this is the power of love.
5th person: a Filipino girl, Tala
The little girl talked to Eddie in a river. She said he burned her. He made her fire. Eddie didn’t know why she said that. In W.W.II, the American army fought in the Philippines. Eddie was there in the war. He set a hut on fire. He asked the girl to forgive him. The girl with burnt scar on her face and arm asked Eddie to wash it off with a special rock in the river. He did and the scar disappeared. They were both happy.
Lesson: Eddie's life has a purpose; he kept children safe at the pier. No life is a waste. He and his wife Marguerite had no children. But he made the rides safe for countless numbers of children. When his father died, Eddie took up his father’s job and he thought his job was simple but boring. If he had not prevented the accidents (p. 192), the world would be a very different place.