Reviews for The First Phone Call From Heaven

by Mitch Albom

Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Albom (The Five People You Meet in Heaven) has a nose for "thin places": places where the boundary between secular and sacred is porous, and ultimate meaning is easier to encounter. In his new novel, Coldwater, Mich., is this thin place, a town where people who have lost loved ones begin receiving phone calls from the dead in heaven. Sully Harding's wife died while he was in prison, and their young son, Jules, hopes his mom will call, even while Sully smells a hoax. Albom weaves a thread of satire into a narrative braided from the lives of smalltown residents; Coldwater becomes a media hotspot as well as battleground for religious and antireligious zealots, all awaiting the revelation they expect. A historical thread-popping into the narrative like a change-up in baseball-deals with Alexander Graham Bell's invention of the telephone and how the instrument came to be the premier human connector. This brisk, page-turner of a story climaxes at Christmas. Another winner from Albom; this book just about shouts "Give me for a holiday gift." Agent: David Black, David Black Agency. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Albom's latest modern-day fable is less philosophical but more emotionally charged than The Time Keeper. Wrapping this treatise on communication, human relationships, and the nature of heaven inside a nifty mystery, he once again manages to convert his musings on morality and spirituality into a populist page-turner. When embittered pilot Sullivan Harding returns to his small Michigan hometown after a stint in prison for an act of negligence he did not commit, he has to care for his young son while dealing with his feelings of guilt over his wife's death. As Sully attempts to cope with his own demons, various townspeople begin receiving phone calls from deceased loved ones. As word of the Coldwater miracle spreads in a media-fueled frenzy, Sully attempts to get to the bottom of both the mysterious calls and his own paralyzing feelings of guilt and remorse. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Perennial best-seller Albom ponders the nature of miracles in another thought-provoking, discussion-promoting tale.--Flanagan, Margaret Copyright 2010 Booklist


Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Albom (The Five People You Meet in Heaven) has a nose for "thin places": places where the boundary between secular and sacred is porous, and ultimate meaning is easier to encounter. In his new novel, Coldwater, Mich., is this thin place, a town where people who have lost loved ones begin receiving phone calls from the dead in heaven. Sully Harding's wife died while he was in prison, and their young son, Jules, hopes his mom will call, even while Sully smells a hoax. Albom weaves a thread of satire into a narrative braided from the lives of smalltown residents; Coldwater becomes a media hotspot as well as battleground for religious and antireligious zealots, all awaiting the revelation they expect. A historical thread-popping into the narrative like a change-up in baseball-deals with Alexander Graham Bell's invention of the telephone and how the instrument came to be the premier human connector. This brisk, page-turner of a story climaxes at Christmas. Another winner from Albom; this book just about shouts "Give me for a holiday gift." Agent: David Black, David Black Agency. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

A series of tragic circumstances land widower Sully Harding back in his hometown of Coldwater, MI, just months before the mysterious phone calls start occurring. The calls, from deceased family members or acquaintances, are made to a few select members of this small community. Some choose to keep the calls a secret while others decide to tell all. When a small news station picks up the story, it isn't long before it goes viral and the sleepy little town is overrun by extreme believers and vitriolic protesters, all demanding proof. Even Sully's young son, Jules, believes his mother will contact him from heaven. But Sully's skepticism prods him to investigate either to uncover a hoax or believe in a miracle. VERDICT -Albom (The Five People You Meet in Heaven) artfully captures the emotional turbulence caused by the testing of faith. His story clips along at an increasingly frenetic pace, realistically displaying the ugliness wrought when combining the media circus, mass hysteria, and greed of commercialism. This moving tale of loss, recovery, and the power of love will be snatched up by Albom's many fans. [See Prepub Alert, 5/20/13.]-Joy Gunn, Paseo Verde Lib., Henderson, NV (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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