Mitch Albom’s new book will inspire you to make some calls

Mitch Albom revisits morality as a theme in his new book.
Mitch Albom revisits morality as a theme in his new book.

“Tuesdays with Morrie” author Mitch Albom isn’t a fan of texting. “We text, we Facebook, we post. We do everything we can to avoid a conversation,” Albom tells Metro.

But after losing a loved one, Albom insists that even a society that prefers communicating digitally, it’s a real-life conversation we long for the most.

“There are so many people when they lose someone that wish they could have one more conversation,” he says. The characters in Albom’s latest book, “The First Phone Call From Heaven,” are given exactly that chance.

The book is about a small town that starts receiving phone calls from heaven. Once the media gets hold of the story, people from all over the world flock to the town, hoping their own cell phones will start ringing. Mostly, the book follows one man who was just released from prison after serving time for a crime he didn’t commit. While in prison, his wife died, leaving him to raise his young son alone. When the boy starts asking when mommy is going to call, he can’t bear for his son to have false hope, so he sets out to prove the whole thing is a hoax.

The idea for the book came after Albom lost the ability to have a conversation with his mother. “She suffered a stroke and lost the ability to speak,” he says. “It’s been more than three years since I’ve heard her voice. It occurred to me how precious the human voice is and so much of what we associate to a person’s personality has to do with their voice. Many people often won’t erase voicemails from lost loved ones.”

When asked if he could orchestrate any real life phone calls between heaven and earth, Albom’s answer didn’t involve presidents, saints or other public figures. Like the backdrop of his books, he’d focus on ordinary people. “I would try to get every broken heart on earth comforted by one of those calls,” he says.

Promoting the book has prompted Albom readers to tell them their own stories about real-life phone calls from heaven. “One guy told me he got a phone call from his mother. She had died in a car crash, but no one knew yet. She called and told him, ‘I’m all right. I’ll always be with you. Don’t worry.’ Then she said she would see his grandmother soon, and a week later, his grandmother died.”

For his own part, Albom believes miracles come in all sizes, small and large, and is no stranger to experiencing them himself. “Oh, I have them all the time. There are so many good things that have happened to me that it can’t just be coincidence. I often say there must be a divine intervention at work here.”

“The First Phone Call From Heaven” is out now.

Follow Emily on Twitter: @EmLaurence



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

International

U.N. nuclear inquiry on Iran seen making slow…

The U.N. nuclear watchdog appears to have made only limited progress so far in getting Iran to answer questions about its suspected atomic bomb research, diplomatic sources said on Friday,…

National

Violence-weary Missouri town sees second night of calm

By Nick Carey and Carey GillamFERGUSON Mo. (Reuters) - The violence-weary town of Ferguson, Missouri, saw a second straight evening of relative calm on Thursday…

National

Journalist James Foley's parents, after call with pope,…

The parents of James Foley, the American journalist killed by Islamic State militants in Iraq, on Friday called for prayer and support to free the remaining captives held by Islamic…

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

Movies

Michael Chiklis on his football past and 'When…

Michael Chiklis remembers playing football in high school and how that prepped him to play a coach in "When the Game Stands Tall."

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…