Thursday, March 6, 2014

Book Review: The First Phone Call From Heaven by Mitch Albom

First Phone Call From Heaven
By Mitch Ablom
Publisher: Harper
Publishing Date: Nov. 1, 2013
ISBN: 9780062294371

Amazon Synopsis:

The First Phone Call from Heaven tells the story of a small town on Lake Michigan that gets worldwide attention when its citizens start receiving phone calls from the afterlife. Is it the greatest miracle ever or a massive hoax? Sully Harding, a grief-stricken single father, is determined to find out. An allegory about the power of belief—and a page-turner that will touch your soul—Albom's masterful storytelling has never been so moving and unexpected.

My Thoughts:

This is the story of what happens when a few citizens of the small town of Coldwater, Michigan begin receiving phone calls from heaven. The phone calls are mostly encouraging, letting their loved ones know that there is a heaven and that the callers are well and happy.

Ablom demonstrates how media influences our lives today. When media coverage spreads 
around the world, among some the reaction is almost cult-like.  Of course the opposite result also occurs and protests and demonstrations result as well. Church attendance is revitalized and even some of the spiritual leaders are convinced that now there is proof, so people will believe. Still, there is one pastor who recognizes that “if you believe it, you don’t need proof”. 

Mitch does a credible job of portraying the emotional upheaval the situation creates. The most poignant of these is when one of the recipients of the phone calls removes all the phones from her home. She doesn’t want any more phone calls from her dead son. He is dead, and she needs him to stay that way because the phone calls are too painful.

While so many are convinced that the calls really are from those who have passed from this life, Sully Harding is more than skeptical, and determines to find out if the phone calls are a hoax. Through his search, he confronts his painful past and learns the truth about the events surrounding his incarceration in prison.

I loved how Ablom wove in the history of Alexander Graham Bell and the telephone. While it is well-known that Bell is credited with the invention of the telephone, Ablom included lesser-known facts about Mr. Bell and the telephone.

While this book does deal with heaven and belief, it should be pointed out that it is not a book about religion. The only faith this book mentions is the Christian faith, even though other faiths have a belief in heaven or the afterlife.

This book was fascinating from beginning to end. It held my attention page after page and I thought the plot twists and resolution of the story were very well done. There were many positive outcomes from the phone calls and leaves one with a very positive feeling. I very much enjoyed this book and gave it a rating of 4 stars.

Thank you very much to the publishing company, Harper , which gave me a review copy of this book in exchange for my fair and honest review.  All thoughts are my own.

Book Links

About the Author:

Mitchell David Albom is an author, journalist, screenwriter, playwright, radio and television broadcaster and musician. His books have collectively sold over 35 million copies worldwide; have been published in forty-one territories and in forty-two languages around the world; and have been made into Emmy Award-winning and critically-acclaimed television movies.

Author Links
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