Mitch Albom’s The Five People You Meet in Heaven

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What is Mitch Albom’s The Five People You Meet in Heaven about? Does the book offer lessons about how to live life?

In Mitch Albom’s The Five People You Meet in Heaven, a man named Eddie journeys to the afterlife and meets 5 people, who help him make sense of his life and find peace. Read more about Mitch Albom’s The Five People You Meet in Heaven below.

Mitch Albom’s The Five People You Meet in Heaven

Mitch Albom’s The Five People You Meet in Heaven is a poignant story about a man named Eddie’s journey after death. In heaven, he meets five people who teach him about the meaning and value of his own life. Through their stories and lessons, Eddie learns about connection, forgiveness, sacrifice, and love. 

Through this book, you’ll have the chance to imagine your own life’s purpose and the lives you’ve they have touched along the way. The author is Mitch Alborn, best-selling author of Tuesdays with Morrie and The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto

Mitch Albom’s The Five People You Meet In Heaven: The End Is the Beginning

One day, at Ruby Pier Amusement Park, a man named Eddie dies. Like most endings, Eddie’s death is also a beginning, even though he doesn’t know it. It is Eddie’s 83rd birthday. This is the beginning of Mitch Albom’s The Five People You Meet in Heaven.

Eddie spends his last day working at Ruby Pier Amusement Park, like he has for most of his life. His job is to maintain and fix the park’s many rides, attractions, and games. He always wanted to leave Ruby Pier. But after he came back from getting injured in the war, he felt stuck in his old life there.

Eddie hears screams. He looks up and sees that the Freddy’s Free Fall ride has a broken cart. He and his co-worker Dominguez are able to get the terrified passengers off the ride. But then, the broken cart begins to fall. Eddie sees a young girl sitting in harm’s way, so he runs towards her. The last thing he remembers is feeling her small hands in his.

Suddenly, he finds himself in heaven. Eddie learns that in heaven, you will meet five people. Each of these people played an important part in your life, even if you didn’t know it at the time. Meeting these people is meant to help you understand the meaning of your life. 

Eddie’s First Person: The Blue Man

When Eddie first arrives in heaven, it looks like the Ruby Pier he knew as a boy. He gets up to look around and finds that his body and mind feel young again. He is able to run and he feels no pain or worry. 

He hears a voice beckon him into a tent he recognizes from the freak show in his youth. Inside, he sees a man with blue skin. The man used to work at Ruby Pier when Eddie was a boy, but they never met. 

The Blue Man’s Lesson

The 5 people you meet in Heaven book is a story, but it’s also about learning important lessons before it’s too late.

Eddie is worried that the Blue Man only told him this story to make Eddie pay for his part in Joseph’s death. But the Blue Man assures him that the lesson to take away from his story is that that all lives are connected and nothing is completely random. We shouldn’t waste any time thinking that we are alone.

Eddie’s Second Person: The Captain

Eddie finds himself in a desolate terrain. This is a place that has haunted Eddie for years. There are booming noises in the sky above him. Eddie army crawls through the mud to hide under a bush. After a while, he hears a familiar voice from high in the tree above him. Eddie is carried up into the tree, and sees his old Captain from the war.

The Captain’s Lesson

The Captain tells Eddie that he’s been waiting for him all this time because he has a lesson that Eddie needs to hear. He says that sacrifice is a part of life that we are meant to be proud of. He asks for Eddie’s forgiveness for shooting him in the leg. Realizing that the Captain sacrificed his own life to save Eddie’s, Eddie shakes the Captain’s hand. 

Eddie’s Third Person: Ruby 

Eddie finds himself on the top of a mountain. He can see the sign of a diner flickering in the distance, so he walks towards it. Inside, he sees his father sitting at a booth in the corner. Eddie tries to yell out to his dad, but gets no response. 

An elegant old woman tells Eddie that he shouldn’t be angry at his father, because he can’t hear Eddie’s calls. The woman introduces herself as Ruby.

Ruby’s Lesson

Ruby shows Eddie the real reason for his father’s death: Eddie’s father jumped into the ocean to save his friend Mickey Shea. Mickey had gotten drunk and tried to kiss Eddie’s mother. Even though Eddie’s father had planned to hurt Mickey, he ultimately chose to save his life when he saw him fall into the ocean unconscious. 

Ruby tells Eddie that he should learn from this story that holding onto anger is poisonous. You may think anger will act as a weapon toward others, but it only hurts you. She tells Eddie that he needs to forgive his father for all that he blamed him for. 

So Eddie goes back into the diner and makes amends with his father. The 5 people you meet in Heaven book shows Eddie making peace with his father.

Eddie’s Fourth Person: Marguerite

Eddie finds himself in a small, round room filled with doors. Behind each door is a different wedding in a different country. He enters one door to find a beautiful Italian wedding. Eddie sees a young woman handing out candied almonds. The woman is his wife, Marguerite. 

Marguerite’s Lesson

Marguerite tells Eddie that even though she died, he still carried her love with him. Even though life has to end, that doesn’t mean love has to end. She assures Eddie that she could feel his love all this time, all the way in heaven. 

Eddie and Marguerite dance together one last time before she disappears from his arms.The 5 people you meet in Heaven book has one more person for Eddie to meet.

Eddie’s Fifth Person: Tala

Eddie is floating in a white place. He hears a squealing noise that has haunted his dreams for years, and he feels frightened. But then, the ground forms under his feet. He looks around and sees that the noise is actually the sound of thousands of children playing in a beautiful river. A small girl waves to Eddie, and he goes toward her. She says her name is Tala. For Eddie, she is the last of the people you meet in Heaven.

Tala’s Lesson

Eddie can’t help but cry when he looks into Tala’s eyes. She asks Eddie why his life was so sad. He says that he always felt as though he was meant to leave Ruby Pier, but couldn’t. 

Tala tells Eddie that he was meant to stay at Ruby Pier. It was his job to keep children safe. This way, he could make up for the harm he caused Tala. 

Finally, Eddie asks Tala if he was able to save the young girl at Ruby Pier before his death. Tala says he was able to push her out of the way of the falling car. Eddie is confused because he felt the girl’s small hands in his before he died. But Tala tells him that those were her hands pulling him into heaven. 

The river waters begin to rise, and they carry Eddie away. When he emerges, he sees thousands of men, women, and children at Ruby Pier amusement park—all the people he has kept safe over the course of his life. Eddie floats up above the park. At the top of the Ferris wheel, Marguerite waits for him with open arms. Marguerite’s smile and the voices of the children down below are like a message from God: Eddie is home

Mitch Albom’s The Five People You Meet in Heaven Epilogue

Mitch Albom’s The Five People You Meet in Heaven is about how we’re all connected, so it’s no surprise that it ends at Ruby Pier.

Ruby Pier Amusement park opened again three days after Eddie’s death. The story stayed in the newspaper for a week. Freddy’s Free Fall reopened the next year with a new name—Daredevil Drop. Dominguez took over Eddie’s job as the head of maintenance.

The apartment Eddie lived in for almost his entire life was rented out to someone new, and all of his possessions were put into a trunk. They were stored alongside some Ruby Pier memorabilia, including a photo of the first entrance. 

The young man, Nicky, replaced the car key that he lost at Ruby Pier. He continued to come back to the park. He loved to brag that his great-grandmother was the Ruby, after whom the park was named.  

Years passed. Each summer, when the days got longer, people returned to Ruby Pier. They stood in lines to ride the rides. 

In heaven, another line was forming: A line of five people in their five chosen heavens. These five people were waiting for a young girl with blonde curls to grow up, to live her life, and eventually to die. 

One of the people waiting in line to explain to the girl with curls why she lived is an old man named Eddie who she’ll meet in the Stardust Band Shell. Someday, he’ll share with her what he’s learned: that every person’s story affects the next person’s story. In fact, all the stories are one.

Mitch Albom’s The Five People You Meet in Heaven is a touching story about life and loss. If you’re looking for a touching book, Mitch Albom’s The Five People You Meet in Heaven is a classic pick.

Mitch Albom’s The Five People You Meet in Heaven

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Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best summary of Mitch Albom's "The Five People You Meet In Heaven" at Shortform .

Here's what you'll find in our full The Five People You Meet In Heaven summary :

  • Who the Five People Eddie meets in heaven are
  • What each person teaches Eddie about the meaning of his own life
  • Why Eddie finally feels gratitude and closure at the end of his life

Carrie Cabral

Carrie has been reading and writing for as long as she can remember, and has always been open to reading anything put in front of her. She wrote her first short story at the age of six, about a lost dog who meets animal friends on his journey home. Surprisingly, it was never picked up by any major publishers, but did spark her passion for books. Carrie worked in book publishing for several years before getting an MFA in Creative Writing. She especially loves literary fiction, historical fiction, and social, cultural, and historical nonfiction that gets into the weeds of daily life.

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