Tuesday, November 6, 2007

For One More Day

I had read both Mitch Albom's first and second novel, Tuesdays with Morrie and The Five People You Meet In Heaven . I must admit I didn't like the second book very much. I was having second thoughts when I saw Mr Albom's third novel but bought For One More Day anyway, just to complete the "collection". I didn't read it until it had been resting in my bookshelf for several months. After I did, I am compelled to say that this novel far surpasses The Five People You Meet In Heaven.

Charles "Chick" Benetto was a broken man who lived on alcohol, in misery and regret, and who'd lost his job and left his family. The last straw came when he found out that he'd been deliberately left out of his only daughter's wedding, and he decided to kill himself.

The night he planned to die, he got drunk and drove towards his birthplace - to "end his life where it began" - only to be involved in an accident, which he miraculously survived. For a brief moment he saw his mother, just as she was before she died, 8 years ago. He was certain it was a hallucination. He staggered up a water tower and threw himself down. He didn't die.

Towards dawn, he managed to find his way back to his old home, found the key and made his way in - and beheld his mother in the kitchen, preparing breakfast. Chick Benetto would spend that day with his deceased mother - that one more day which thereafter changed his life.

Just as he'd done with his previous two bestsellers, Mr Albom had cleverly weaved the narration of the "present" day with flashbacks and reminiscence of the past. Glimpse by glimpse, piece by piece, Chick's childhood, teenage and early adulthood were put together to form a wistful picture - how he'd never fully appreciated his mother's love and attention in chasing for his father's, how he'd never stood up for her while she always did for him, how he'd been away when she died. And he had one day - to hear her speak again, and to really listen, to feel her love again, to discover secrets and to tell her how he loved her.

What if you had one more day with someone you'd lost? What would you do for one more day? These questions were posted on the book's official site.

He's been gone 6 years now. He would have turned 60 today. What would I do if I had one more day with him? I don't know - I don't want just one more.


cher-ry said...

Monkey hugs Nee Lee as tight as possible. :))))) Can u feel the warmth? or more like monkey stinks???

neil said...

aaaahhhhhh. thank you!!!!!

Kelly Lai said...

Sorry to hear that and thanks for the sharing, my hug for you.