Review: For One More Day — Mitch Albom

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To Go: 26

Book List:
71. The Perfect Hope — Nora Roberts
72. Tigers in Red Weather — Liza Klaussman
73. Waking Up Married — Mira Lyn Kelly
74. For One More Day — Mitch Albom

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As a child, Charley Benetto is told by his father, “You can be a mama’s boy or you can be a daddy’s boy, but you can’t be both.” So he chooses his father, and he worships him — right up to the day the man disappears. An eleven-year-old Charley must then turn to his mother, who bravely raises him on her own, despite Charley’s embarrassment and yearnings for a complete family.

Decades later, Charley is a broken man. His life has been crumbled by alcohol and regret. He loses his job. He leaves his family. He hits bottom after discovering his only daughter has shut him out of her wedding.

And he decides to take his own life.

He makes a midnight ride to his small hometown, with plans to do himself in. But upon failing even to do that, he staggers back to his old house, only to make an astonishing discovery. His mother — who died eight years earlier — is still living there, and welcomes him home as if nothing ever happened.

Hey, friends! Surprise, surprise, I’m coming to you live (well, sort of) from Montreal, QC. I’ve been having so much fun wandering around the city, seeing the sights, and I’ve got plans to do more of that this afternoon. But on the five-hour train ride from Toronto, I finished off Mitch Albom’s For One More Day, which I started last night, and also got halfway through my next book. So when I finally got checked into my hotel, I thought I’d write down a few quick thoughts on the book before going out for more sight-seeing. Because I’m so dedicated to book blogging that I even do it on my vacation. 😉

Oh, and in case you’re wondering: yes, I took that picture of the book cover. Surprisingly there are very few cover images circulating on the Internet that are the appropriate size, and don’t have a “77% OFF!” sign covering the bottom half. Moving on…

I actually got For One More Day as a Christmas present for a family member (not saying who and spoiling it), but I couldn’t stop myself from reading it first, because I’m a broke student asshole. And I’m glad I did — the book is really touching and beautiful, and after I finished it I had the strongest urge to call my mother. (Never mind that we’ve been texting all day.)

I have a great relationship with my parents, but I saw so many scenes in For One More Day that were almost universally true about kids and their parents (mother or father), even though Charley Bennetto’s story strays, I think, far from the norm. I’m more than guilty of taking both my parents for granted, and probably hurting them more times than I could count on two hands. It’s not something that I really thought much about, until I read For One More Day. 

I never considered myself someone who’d read Mitch Albom (no offence, Mr. Albom — your books just didn’t seem like my type!), but I’m so pleased I took a chance and read someone else’s Christmas gift before I gave it to them. For One More Day is a heartbreaking story of a fractured family, and the power of a mother’s love.

A testament to its beauty: I almost outright wept on the train. ON THE TRAIN! 

Next book: The Russian Concubine by Kate Furnivall. I’m already halfway through it and it’s just fantastic. I haven’t even finished it yet and I’d already endorse it.

Next feature: pictures from my trip to Montreal!

– Kelsey

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