The Next Person You Meet in Heaven is the sequel to The Five People You Meet in Heaven. Annie, the girl Eddie saved more than twenty years ago finally gets to meet her saviour.
A pipe cleaner rabbit – like the one Paulo just gave her – had been in Annie’s hands the day of the fateful accident, a gift from the whiskered old man she was seeing now at her wedding.
A man who died more than twenty years ago.
This book is written on the similar lines of its prequel. The story begins with an ending. The End doesn’t have to mean ‘a full stop’. The End can also signify the start of a new beginning. 🙂
So, Annie is falling from the sky and she reminisces the incidents which brought her to the present situation. Yesterday, she and her childhood sweetheart Paulo got married. She thought she saw the old man who saved her on the Ruby Pier. The man was dead so how is it possible for him to be at her wedding? Paulo and Annie have quite a day and Annie wants to go on the balloon ride. Paulo agrees and the couple reaches the venue the next morning. Teddy is new to the job and he ignores the weather condition – this results in a disaster and here we are, with Annie falling from the sky.
Annie reaches heaven and she meets five people – one of them is Eddie ‘Maintenance’. Eddie died saving Annie – a cart from the Freddy Free Fall fell on him, killing him instantly. A piece of metal from the cart sliced off Annie’s wrist – her left hand was detached from her wrist. It was surgically attached later on but Annie bore the scar of healing lifelong. Annie and her mother drifted apart after this incident. Annie has low self-esteem issues – she thinks people drifted apart from her because of her ‘mistakes’. Annie blames herself for all the tough times she went through.
I found this book to be more emotional and heart-wrenching than its prequel. At the same time, there’s a twist to the story as Annie meets her fifth person and this makes the story even better than its prequel. Heart-wrenching story with a heart-warming ending.
Albom writes stories that touch the reader’s heart (or soul, choose whichever you like). Her childhood issues, her low-self-esteem, the relationship with her mother – Annie’s been through a lot; but, as the story ends, you get to see a new Annie. She finally realises that she was not at fault always. And, she was never alone – this has something to do with the second person she meets in heaven. 🙂
Though a sequel, this book can be read as a standalone. If you have read The Five People You Meet in Heaven, you might find the story outline to be repetitive. But do not let this disappoint you because the ending is totally worth it! The Next Person You Meet in Heaven is written in creative non-fiction style and I highly recommend this book.