I always think that I'm not going to like Mitch Albom's books--they are too commercially popular, Oprah produces the movies based on his books, and they are schmaltzy. Yet, I'm compelled to read them because I'm fascinated by the small novel. And Albom really knows what he is doing here.
I told Chris, who says that she is going to try to get over her anti-Albom stance, that Mitch Albom is like the Brad Pitt of writers, in that, I want to think that he just isn’t that good, but darn it, he really is!
In For One More Day, you ache over Charley's losses in his life. It is clear from the beginning of this tightly written piece that Charley is who he is and how he is because of his father. Yet, it is his mother who helps him begin to redeem himself. Charley decides to kill himself, and, failing to do so, he wakes up to see his mother standing there. A comforting notion, until Charley shares with us that his mother died eight years ago.
While I wanted to learn more about Charley and what this experience means, I also was intrigued by the notion of what could happen or change if you could be with someone you loved "for one more day." I read this on eve of September 11, and I could not help but think how many people were wishing for such a chance at that moment.
Throughout the book, Albom inserts vignettes titled either Times My Mother Stood Up for Me or Times I Did Not Stand Up for My Mother. They are heartbreaking--in two pages, Albom can bring tears to your eyes or raise goosebumps on your arms. Often, you even can see where the vignette is leading, but you want to keep reading.
It's an afternoon read that stays with you. Albom continues to surprise me--after three such surprises, you would think that I would just say that I like Mitch Albom's books. Instead each time has been a struggle that I wind up pleased to have waged.