Another day, another destiny...

Another day, another destiny…

“Let me guess. You want to know why I tried to kill myself.”

So I threw down The Haunted Book and, once I’d showered enough to get the spook off of me and focused for a while on my NaNoWriMo ideas, I picked up another book. Ah, something nice about family and love and … oh god, it’s another ghost story.

But this one isn’t scary. This is the story of Charles “Chick” Benetto, a man who feels he has nothing left to live for. Alcohol and regret has stolen away his wife, his daughter and his job. He is broken and believes that there is only one option left open to him – he has to kill himself.

He decides to take one last drive before he does it, heading out to Pepperville Beach where he grew up, planning to visit his childhood home. When he arrives, his mother is there waiting for him. There’s just one problem with that – she died eight years ago.

Chick is then granted something that I daresay many of us have wished for with someone no longer with us – one more day together. His mother cooks up him some breakfast and then she takes him out with her on her errands and he begins to learn more about the secrets his family had and how he lost everything he once had.

This is my third Mitch Albom book, having previously read The Five People You Meet In Heaven and The Timekeeper. I love his brain and the way he constructs his worlds. They’re all wonderfully real and full of hope and joy, despite so often being about death and its omnipresent shadow over us. The idea of spending a final day with someone who you lost is one that undoubtedly appeals to so many people. This book goes into realistic detail of the relationship between a mother and her son, one of the most important relationships in any life. Chick loves his mother, then becomes embarrassed of her, and they begin to drift, all the while she tries to keep them together as best she knows how.

It is the kind of book that makes you want to go and hug your own parents because you never know when your final day with them will be (it’s tragic, but it’s true). There are some truly heartbreaking moments in this book, such as Chick’s reveal of his last interaction with his mother before her death, and his own downward spiral as he becomes unable to live with himself. The struggle that Posey (his mother) goes through as well is also terribly sad and even though she’s not my mother (and, of course, doesn’t actually exist), I just want to give her a hug too as she is a deeply loving and passionate person who will do anything for her children.

Beautiful and compelling, but keep a tissue handy.