Mitch Albom is an author, playwright, and screenwriter who has written seven books, including the international bestseller Tuesdays with Morrie, the bestselling memoir of all time. His first novel, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, was an instant number one New York Times bestseller that has since sold more than six million copies worldwide. Both books were made into acclaimed TV films. Mitch also works as a columnist and a broadcaster, and serves on numerous charitable boards. He lives with his wife, Janine, in Michigan.
In this second novel from Tuesdays with Morrie andThe Five People You Meet in Heaven author Albom, grief-stricken Charles "Chick" Benetto goes into an alcoholic tailspin when his always-attentive mother, Pauline, dies. Framed as an "as told to" story, Chick quickly narrates her funeral; his drink-fueled loss of savings, job ("sales") and family; and his descent into loneliness and isolation. After a suicide attempt, Chick encounters Pauline's ghost. Together, the two revisit Pauline's travails raising her children alone after his father abandons them: she braves the town's disapproval of her divorce and works at a beauty parlor, taking an extra job to put money aside for the children's education. Pauline cringes at the heartache Chick inflicted as a demanding child, obnoxious teen and brusque, oblivious adult chasing the will-o'-the-wisp of a baseball career. Through their story, Albom foregrounds family sanctity, maternal self-sacrifice and the destructive power of personal ambition and male self-involvement. He wields pathos as if it were a Louisville Slugger-shoveling dirt into Pauline's grave, Chick hears her spirit cry out, " 'Oh, Charley. How could you-' "-but Albom often strikes a nerve on his way to the heart. (Sept. 26) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.