REVIEWED BY KAREN BYROM
I’ve waited 10 long years for this sequel to Mitch Albom’s The Five People You Meet In Heaven – and boy, was it worth the wait!
While The Five People You Meet In Heaven explores the life of Eddie, the grizzled old fair mechanic who laid down his life for little Annie, The Next Person You Meet In Heaven reintroduces us to Annie herself.
Eddie’s self-sacrificing act gave Annie a chance at life, but it seems it has been cut short when she and her new husband are jettisoned from the sky in a romantic balloon ride gone tragically wrong.
Like Eddie, Annie finds herself in a strange land, meeting people who she doesn’t at first recognise, but who have helped shaped her life. There’s Eddie himself, of course, then the surgeon who saved her hand, her mother and various other people.
Without her husband by her side, Heaven will be Hell for poor Annie…
As Annie’s journey through Heaven continues, she begins to wonder where her husband Paulo is. Could he have survived the balloon crash? Without him, Heaven will be Hell for poor Annie…
Simple but clever, author Mitch Albom’s device of introducing us to the important people in Annie’s life skilfully builds up a story of a girl’s journey from childhood to adulthood with all its attendant highs and lows.
But more than this, The Next Person You Meet In Heaven introduces us to a concept where Heaven is not a static paradise with angels singing and God on his heavenly throne.
A higher being is somewhere in the background, for sure, but the angels, it seems, are the people Annie once knew on earth. There, they may have been flawed mortals but without them Annie would not have been the person she is today.
Is Annie truly dead? That’s something you’ll have to find out for yourself. I hope you’ll enjoy the journey through Annie’s Heaven just as much as I did.
I think by the end you’ll be hooked on Mitch Albom’s idea of Heaven, and on Mitch Albom’s writing, too.