Next Person You Meet in Heaven
by Albom, Mitch

A sequel to the best-selling The Five People You Meet in Heaven continues the story of grizzled war veteran-turned-amusement park mechanic Eddie, who has a spiritual reunion with the girl he died rescuing. 2 million first printing.

Fifteen years after the publication of his blockbuster best-seller, The Five People You Meet in Heaven? (2003), Albom returns with a sequel set 20-odd years into the future. Annie, the little girl Eddie sacrificed his own life in order to save, has grown up. Life has not been without its struggles for Annie, who was left with both a disability and an overly protective mother after the accident at Ruby Pier Amusement Park. However, things appear to be on the upswing as she reunites with and marries Paolo, her childhood sweetheart. Of course, there are no simplistic, happily-ever-after endings in the Albom universe, and Annie and Paolo prove there are no exceptions to that rule. After a horrific accident on her wedding day, Annie is whisked up to heaven, where she not only meets up with Eddie but also four others whose lives she touched and impacted in meaningful ways. As Annie learns her lessons about the meaning and value of both life and death, Albom wraps up this heartfelt fable with a totally unexpected twist. Order plenty of copies and warn readers to keep their hankies handy! HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Albom's many-millions-sold hit, The Five People You Meet in Heaven (2003), ensures a large and ready audience for this much-heralded sequel.  Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

Albom (The Magic Strings of Frankie Pesto, 2015, etc.) returns to the scene of previous literary crime: heaven, that is, and the realm of departed folks who are only too glad to dispense advice. "This is a story about a woman named Annie, and it begins at the end, with Annie falling from the sky." In this sequel to The Five People You Meet in Heaven (2003), gruff Eddie the maintenance man gets to have a little chat with the aforementioned Annie, for whom he gave up his life in a freak roller-coaster accident in the first book, sparing her from death. So what's she doing up in the afterlife? Well, it seems Annie has fallen in love, married, and then honored the event by going up in a hot air balloon. What is it with her and divergent modes of transportation? And now, thanks to high-tension wires, Annie has bitten the big one—or maybe not—and is wandering around in the clouds reliving past mistakes and holding self-discovery sessions with, yes, five of her predecess ors in the dirt nap. You'd think Eddie would be a little ticked that he lost a decade to a woman who seemed destined for the express checkout lane in any case, especially because, Albom writes, "She never thought about heaven." He adds, helpfully, "But heaven is always thinking about us." Yep, and yuck. There's more than a little of The Little Prince here ("A vast brown desert surrounded her. / And she was alone") and more than a little too much wisdom ("We don't realize who else we punish while we're punishing ourselves"). A question: Isn't it a cheat when one of the dead quintet is a dog? And further: If you avoid death proper but have met your allotted five people in the great fluffy cloud beyond during your near-death experience, do you have to meet five other people when your time actually does come? Isn't that fudging the numbers? For those who prize fortune-cookie philosophy and sticky-sweet resolutions, this is just the ticket to ride. Copyright Kirkus 2018 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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