“Love lost is still love. It takes a different form, that’s all. You can’t see their smile or bring them food or tousle their hair or move them around a dance floor. But when those senses weaken, another heightens. Memory. Memory becomes your partner. You nurture it. You hold it. You dance with it. Life has to end. Love doesn’t.” – Mitch Albom
Mitch Albom has never made a futile attempt to plunge into the depths of relationships, the sometimes dark and mysteriously grey areas of our interactions with others. His book, For One More Day, is a tale of reconnection and the classical missed opportunity. The story begins with a young sports journalist approaching the protagonist, an ex- pro baseball player named Chick Benetto. Before the reporter is even able to speak, Chick knows indubitably that the reporter wants to know about chick’s suicide attempt. Starting here, Chick retells the events that lead up to his suicide attempt and story of his life in an autobiographical point of view. Giving off an overall feeling of nostalgia, his story is one about neglecting his mother’s ubiquitous love, as well as his absentee father, who plays a heavy role in his downfall. In one specific anecdote, it is shown that his father is criticizing his mother’s food. The father changes the focus to Chick and asks him what he thinks of the food. Because his father had always said, “You can be a momma’s boy or a daddy’s boy, but you can’t be both”, Chick sided with the latter. He spent his whole life trying to win his father’s approval to the point where he would purposefully hurt his mother just to please him. Having not been with his mother at the time of her death, Chick will retain this guilt for a lifetime. He seeks solace in alcohol and leaves his family just as his father had left him. When his only daughter shuns him from her own marriage, Chick decides that he has nothing to live for. He wakes up in a world flanked by life and death and finds that he is given the opportunity to spend one last day with his mother, who had died eight years ago. This moment is the catalyst of a journey which results in his revisiting past troubles and tying up loose ends. Through this last day that he spent with his mother, Chick finally apprehends some of the certain things that happened in his life. He realized the undermining reason for his parents’ divorce. He became conscious of the sacrifices his mother had made for all those around her. Fortunately, Chick was blessed with a second chance to make amends with his mother and live to tell the story.
One of For One More Day‘s strongest points is in Mitch Albom’s voice, in which he creates this captivating story while still employ his very distinctive language. His ability to elicit emotions and engage the reader in the story is one that is very inimitable.
- For One More Day is short and easy to read.
- The story is engaging.
- This is a moral tale, full of life lessons that book clubs or classes might enjoy discussing.
- Like some of Albom’s other work, For One More Day feels overly sentimental at points.
- This is very similar to Albom’s Five People You Meet in Heaven–not much new ground covered here.
exploring themes of the relationship between parents and children, loyalty, and human fallibility.
In a plot that might sound too fantastic to be true, Albom spins a tale of reconnection and opportunity. The book is full of reminiscences from Chick’s personal papers — notes his mom lovingly wrote him, reminders of times he didn’t stand up for her and remembrances of his life. But the last day he gets to spend with his ethereal mother might well be the truest day he ever spent with her, for it is in this visit that he learns who she really was and who he really is.
This book is only 197 pages long. From start to finish you are wrapped up in this family story: the small hardships, the not so small hardships, and the give and take that goes on in all families. It is heartbreakingly beautiful and in the end uplifting. You come away with a desire to pay closer attention to the world around you and what you have. Not to mention the desire to go and hug your mom, just in case.
Albom’s writing has always touched my heart. He possesses an uncanny ability to draw out subjects so heartwarming and heartwrenching — love, loss, faith, loyalty — that other authors dance around but never really flesh out. Albom repeatedly strikes a chord. After learning all about Chick, his life and relationships, one can’t help but be reminded of one’s own existence — missed opportunities, successes, failures, etc. If you read this book and don’t ask yourself the question, “Who would I want the chance to see again, talk to again and reconcile with?” then you’ve missed the point. Albom wants you to read about Chick and find yourself reminiscing, recalling those people in your life who you’d give anything to see again, those times you should have walked down the other path, and those moments you wish you could relive.
A brief introduction describes how the narrator, as the result of a chance encounter at a baseball field, met and eventually interviewed Chick Benetto, who is described as having once played major league baseball, having once tried to kill himself, and having been raised by a “wild” mother, Posey. The narrator then describes how the book is a narrative of Chick’s experiences, taken from both interviews
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