What if you could talk to the dead?

THE FIRST PHONE CALL FROM HEAVEN

BY MITCH ALBOM

American writer Mitch Albom is one of my best loved authors. He has sold more than 34 million books worldwide which is no surprise to me as his thought provoking novels are such lovingly crafted reads.

I have previously enjoyed 5 of his magnificent stories:mitch albom

  1. The Five People You Meet in Heaven
  2. Tuesdays With Morrie (Memoir)
  3. For One More Day
  4. Have A Little Faith and
  5. The Timekeeper

And his latest release is no let down! The First Phone Call From Heaven is a story of hope, loss, love, faith and the existence of Heaven. Residents in the small town of Coldwater, Lake Michigan begin to receive phone calls from loved ones that have passed away.

The world and its media descend on Coldwater hoping that this is the greatest miracle ever. Deceased sons, sisters and even former employees appear to be calling the people they left behind from the afterlife.

But not everyone is convinced. Some suspect a hoax, like lead protagonist and grief stricken single Dad, Sully Harding. Watching his son Jules waiting for a phone call from his dead Mum breaks Sully’s heart and he vows to uncover the truth. Continue reading

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The lighter side to financial ruin

Financial lives of the poets jess walter

THE FINANCIAL LIVES OF THE POETS BY JESS WALTER

I bought this book by Jess Walter as soon as I finished his excellent summer stunner Beautiful Ruins. It also came highly recommended by one of my favourite British authors, Nick Hornby. It didn’t disappoint.

The Financial Lives of the Poets is a touching, funny and desperate story of laid-off financial journalist Matt Prior and how he sails about as close to the edge of ruin as you can go.

After being made redundant from his newspaper, Matt embarks on starting a poetry website on all things financial. But who needs that, right? So when the hits don’t come and the debt racks up coupled with no income and his wife’s retail therapy on ebay, he ends up having just six days to save his house.

A chance meeting with a pothead at a 7/11 leads Matt to think that small-time drug dealing might be his salvation. The story that develops reminds me a little of Christopher Brookmyre’s comedy/crime novels. Matt’s plan to get funds fast at the same time as spying on his wife’s online lover, dealing with no sleep and a father stuck in the dementia cycle, means a great plot with superb, witty dialogue for us.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The perfect novel to race through in a few days with its short chapters and pacey storyline. My only negative would be that it all got tied up a little too tidily in the end and seemed to be cut short.

An author I will keep reading for sure, though.

SOUTHSEA BOOKWORM RATING: 7/10

Notes on the author – Jess Walter

  • Lives in Washington
  • Author of 6 novels
  • Published in 15 countries