Wednesday, December 18, 2013

“For One More Day” by Mitch Albom – The Importance of Family

For One More Day by Mitch Albom (Book cover)
As is usual with Mitch Albom, For One More Day is a novel which touches upon a rather heavy subject, following the story of Charley who, from a very young age, was always forced to choose between his father and his mother after they got separated.

Things don’t change as he grows up, and one day he decides to secretly go visit his father on a weekend rather than his mother… a decision which doesn’t end well, considering she dies while he is gone.

This event obviously left its mark on him, leading him on a path of alcoholism and depression, something that wrecked his own family. As he is about to take his own life, Charley is somehow given the chance to go back in time, at least for a while, and be together with his mother for her last day.

Trying to undo the mistakes of his past, he jumps on such a chance and takes the opportunity to ask her all the questions he held back, learning who his mother truly was in the process.

For One More Day is certainly a heavy book, exploring the relationship between parents and their children as well as the effects of divorce on a person in great detail. As a matter of fact, I would be tempted to say that the story is really only secondary to the topics explored within the book.

On one hand, we see the effects of divorce clearly displayed as we follow Charley through his childhood and witness how his own family falls apart due to the afflictions he developed from his broken youth.

Following that is, in my opinion, the more captivating and interesting part of the book, one where Charley gets to turn back time (in a sense at least) and finally learn the answer to the question we have all been asking ourselves at one point or another: what if?

This book certainly isn’t for everyone, being slow of pace and lacking in action and thrills. Rather, it aims to provoke thoughts in your head, to make you think for yourself and come to your own conclusions.

If anything, it feels as if Albom is pushing the reader to have a conversation similar to the one in the book with his or her own parents before it is truly too late.

For One More Day by Mitch Albom (Book cover)
There are certainly many wise words in this book that will give you plenty of food for thought, especially in regards to the importance of family, the power of love and how it can dictate a family’s survival, and the idea that we really don’t know people as well as we would like to think we do, no matter how close they are to us.

All in all, I would recommend this book to those looking for a slower-paced novel which explores the heavy themes which were mentioned above.

Even if you do tend to prefer thrills and action over introspective dialogs, I would still urge you to read this as the ideas found within can be applied to nearly everyone’s life.

Mitch Albom (Author)

Mitchell David "Mitch" Albom

Personal site

Most know Mitch Albom through his most famous books, The Five People You Meet in Heaven and Tuesdays with Morrie, but the man born all the way back in 1958 has had a long and diverse career as a journalist, screenwriter, broadcaster, musician, dramatist, and radio show host.

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