2003 "First Edition" stated; Hyperion publishers, New York; smaller hardbound with vibrant red boards and gilt lettering on cover and spine; very good condition, appears unread with pages unturned; dust jacket very good.
The Five People You Meet In Heaven is a novel by Mitch Albom. It follows the life and death of a maintenance man named Eddie. Eddie is killed and sent to heaven, where he encounters five people who had a significant impact upon him while he was alive. It was published in 2003 by Hyperion and remained on the New York Times Best Seller list for 95 weeks.
The story starts with an elderly gentleman named Eddie who works as the head of maintenance at an amusement park called Ruby Pier, also known as Salty Pier. Eddie is a face known to regulars at the pier and is sometimes jokingly referred to as "Eddie Maintenance" due to the positioning of the patches on his work uniform. Eddie is able to perform his job (a job he inherited from his father despite discontentment with life at the pier) despite a crippling leg injury he received as a soldier during World War II. Supposedly, rumors had been spread that Eddie had gotten into an altercation with a man in his platoon during the war - and "nobody knew what happened to the other guy. Nobody asked." This turns out to be foreshadowing to the time and place of the Captain's death, and foreshadowing to his Captain being the cause of his leg injury during the war in the Philippines.
On Eddie's 83rd birthday, one of the amusement park rides malfunctions because of a damaged cable, caused by a car key locking up the mechanics in the ride, and stops halfway through the ride. Two of the staff at Ruby Pier are able to rescue the passengers on the ride and then release the ride's cart for inspection- completely oblivious to Eddie's screams as he realized the cart will detach if it is released. As he realizes this, he notices a girl he'd seen before at the park (Amy/Annie), whose mother left her alone to be with her boyfriend, sitting helplessly in the exact spot the cart was set to impact. Eddie throws himself with all his might towards the girl, intending to pull her to safety. Eddie feels an exploding impact, sees a blinding flash, feels a little girl's hands in his own, and then nothingness...