Newest Review: ... the exception of 'The Five People You Meet in Heaven'. I was not terribly let down by what looked like a promising read in 'For One More... more
A charming, sad and lovely novel
For One More Day - Mitch Albom
Member Name: lindinha42
For One More Day - Mitch Albom
Advantages: Great writing, a story that is easy to identify with
For One More Day, by Mitch Albom, is a unique and beautiful novel that will stay with you for long after reading it. It is almost painfully sad at some points, but it is also uplifting and gives belief in the possibility of redemption for people who have created a mess of their lives, and see no way forward.
Charley is a man who has given up on his life. He has become an alcoholic and driven away his wife and daughter through his bad behaviour, which has been caused by regret over his too-short baseball career, his poor treatment of his mother, and never fully earning his father's approval. When news of his daughter's wedding, to which he has not been invited, reaches him, it is the tipping point. He sets off to kill himself, and rather than succeeding, he somehow ends up in his mother's old house. His mother died some years ago, but when he goes in the house, she is there. After initially disbelieving, he decides to go along with it and spend one more day with his mother.
The story moves back and forth between telling the story of Charley's life, from his earliest childhood through to the time when his adult life falls apart, and telling the story of his last day with his mother. Throughout this day with her, he learns things about her life he never knew, and is able to face what he has done in the past to make his life what it now is.
Throughout the book, the writing is fluid and engaging, and I was drawn into Charley's life. I constantly wondered just what happened to him to make him so self-destructive, what he blamed himself for so desperately. I looked forward to each new section revealing more about his childhood, and I also feel that the bits from Charley's belongings, such as the list of times his mother stood up for him, and the little notes she would write to him, really added to the story. Between the tales of his childhood and these extra elements, a picture of what has made Charley so regretful emerges.
What really works about the stories from Charley's childhood, is that I think they are typical of the small cruelties that children often unthinkingly commit against their parents, and other family members commit against each other. I think anyone that has lost someone can look back and find regrets, and moments when they wish they had treated the person differently and appreciated them more. This is the best part of this novel, I believe it truly represents something that so many people wish for, a day in which they could put everything right and say the things they never had a chance to say.
The twist at the end, which I won't explain, was a bit cheesy but nevertheless unexpected. Also, when I reached the end of the book, my emotional state was such that the ending didn't even feel as contrived as it perhaps should have. Instead it was uplifting.
I found this book to be enjoyable to read, while being heartbreaking at the same time. The way that Albom writes is very often so easy to read, and he has truly lovely ways of saying things. Between his great writing, and the moving story, I thought this book was truly fantastic and I am looking forward to reading another novel by him. Obviously this book is not 100% realistic, but if you can suspend disbelief in order to let yourself really get into this book, I feel that it will reward you.
Summary: One of the books I have enjoyed most recently, sad but uplifting