Thursday, May 3, 2007
Book Review: For One More Day by Mitch Albom
Mitch Albom's new book, For One More Day, is yet another heartwarming, endearing and feel good novella for all the optimists and the little Ms. Sunshines out there. It is the story of Chick Benetto, a one-time baseball great who failed miserably in life but found salvation in a near death experience.
Attempting suicide one night, he found himself in between worlds - one leading to the after life, the other to the one he intended to leave behind. Sandwiched in this terminal between life and death, he met his mother in the very house he grew up in and for one more day, he discovered answers to questions that long bothered his unstable, if not unhappy life.
Albom once again proved that he is a master at ceating stories from snapshots of real life people. With his belief on the importance of family and human relationships, he strikes a homerun with this one as he combines true to life stories of people he knew and that of his own family members. This has become his trademark though. If not for his excellent craft at writing, he is already predictable since he has done this strategy in Tuesday's with Morrie and The Five People You Meet in Heaven.
In his earlier novellas, he was full of pathos and vulnerability that his readers bleed along with his characters. Catharthic, as it is called and it is the same with For One More Day. However, I find Heaven better than this new offering because, its appeal is more intriguing and wonder bound. The idea that one can choose his own heaven amazed me. If that is the case, I am not afraid to die since it may lead me to the many heavens awaiting me along with the people I will be meeting to help me find the meaning of my own life. Death is indeed, the next great adventure (Albus Dumbledore, HP 1 The Sorcerer's Stone, 1997).
Then again, one need not die to find his own heaven. It can actually be a place on this earth where toil and trouble do exist. After all, like Eddie, we all are put in a place where we are needed the most; where we are most happy. That place becomes our own heaven on this earth.
Chick Bennetto did find his reason-de-etre through his mother who never gave up on him. A mother holds the thread that binds a family, but a son will always need a father no matter how great his mother is.
For One More Day may be an engaging and touching book, but Albom can do better next time. What with Heaven and Morrie beating One More Day in terms of depth and universal theme.