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Book Review: For One More Day

April 26, 2010

For my job I’m currently running two Readers Groups, an adult one and a children’s one. I thought I might as well jot down my thoughts on the books I get to read because of this (as opposed to the ones I read for pleasure, which I might comment on as well – especially as many are linked to other things in my life).

And the latest book I read was For One More Day by Mitch Albom (he famously wrote The Five People You Meet in Heaven, for the record). Now, just reading the back of the book I knew it would be a little heart-wrenching for me, as my father died around 8 months ago – and this is very much a book about how it would be if you got one more day with someone who’d died.

But, it’s also so much more than that, and drew me in by the sheer quality of the writing. Chick, our narrator for the majority of the book, is on the verge of suicide. His mother, who raised him for most of his life, died three years earlier, he invested in a dud scheme and his family have fallen apart to the extent his daughter doesn’t invite him to her wedding.

The book is Chick’s life, interspersed with letters his mother sent him, examples of how she stood up for him and how he didn’t stand up for her. And it’s the tale of a young boy/man who only ever wanted approval, respect and love from his father – a man who seemed only to want him occasionally.

It’s a really short book, like Albom’s others, and I read it voraciously. It’s hard to relate just how well written it is, and how quickly you get drawn into this tale, which does unravel to a satisfying conclusion. To say more would really be giving away the entire novel. And it’s not sci-fi or a comic, it’s totally not my usual – but having read it because I had to – I’m now a convert and would definitely recommend it if you happen to pick it up, or see it looking lonely in a library somewhere.

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