Books + Hot Chocolate

Books + Hot Chocolate

Friday, 18 April 2014

for one more day

Title                : for one more day
Author            : Mitch Albom
Genre             : Family/ Fiction

In my opinion, this is one of the greatest books that I have ever read – making me smile and cry at the same time. This is a book about a man’s despair in life and how his encounter with his deceased mother helps him to go through the darkest moments in his pitiful life. The memories of him neglecting his mother and her mother continuous effort to please him are the elements that make this novel so amazing. For those who are interested in novel which contains the element of family bond and sacrifices, this is a MUST read for all of you. 

Mitch Albom’s Biography

 Mitchell David "Mitch" Albom (born May 23, 1958) is an American best-selling author, journalist, screenwriter, dramatist, radio, television broadcaster and musician. He lived in Buffalo, New York for a little while, until his family settled in Oaklyn, New Jersey which is close to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He grew up in a small, middle-class neighbourhood from which most people never left. Mitch was once quoted as saying that his parents were very supportive, and always used to say, “Don’t expect your life to finish here. There’s a big world out there. Go out and see it.” His older sister, younger brother, and he himself, all took that message to heart and travelled extensively. His siblings are currently settled in Europe. Albom once mentioned that now his parents say, “Great. All our kids went and saw the world and now no one comes home to have dinner on Sundays.” His books have sold over 35 million copies worldwide. Having achieved national recognition for sports writing in the earlier part of his career, he is perhaps best known for the inspirational stories and themes that weave through his books, plays and films.

List of Works
1.     Tuesdays with Morrie (1997)
2.     The Five People You Meet in Heaven (2003)
3.     For One More Day (2006)
4.     Have a Little Faith: A True Story (2009)
5.     The Time Keeper (September 2012)
6.     The First Phone Call from Heaven (November 2013) 

Other Achievement
1.         In 1999, Albom was named National Hospice Organization's Man of the Year.

2.         In 2000, at the Emmy Awards, Albom was personally thanked by actor Jack Lemmon during his acceptance speech for his Emmy for Best Actor in a TV Movie or Miniseries for Tuesdays With Morrie. It would be Lemmon’s last major acting role.

3.     On November 22, 2005, Albom was the sole and final guest on Ted Koppel's farewell appearance on ABC’s Nightline. Koppel had gotten to know Albom through his broadcasts with Morrie Schwartz and the final program dealt with the legacy of those shows and Albom’s book.

4.     On October 22, 2007, Albom appeared with former New York Governor Mario Cuomo and Tony Bennett in “An Evening with Tony Bennett” to honour the release of Bennett’s Tony Bennett In The Studio: A Life of Art and Music, for which Albom wrote the foreword.


What this story is about?

The main character, Charley Benetto (nickname: Chick) is a broken middle – age man where his life is destroyed by alcohol, despair and regret. He loses his job and his dream as a baseball player. He also lives alone, far from his own family, his wife and his daughter. His life hits rock bottom after discovering that he won’t be invited to his only daughter’s wedding. His disappointment and rage make him decide to take his own life. 

“WHAT FINISHED ME, what pushed me over the edge, strange as it sounds, was my daughter’s wedding… And that’s all I know because that’s all she wrote, in a brief letter which arrived at my apartment a few weeks after the event.”

Charley takes a midnight ride to his small hometown, the Pepperville Beach, the town where he grew up. Perhaps after so many years, he decided to kill himself in his mother’s house because he wants to reminiscent about his childhood – the moment where he is loved by his mother. However, as he reaches his mother’s house with the thought of killing himself, he saw someone who he misses so much, the one he feels indebted to, the only one who showered him with unconditional love, the one who teaches him about life lessons, the one and only – his beloved mother who has been dead for eight years, welcoming him with open arms as if nothing has ever changed.  

“NOW, WHEN I SAY I SAW MY DEAD MOTHER, I mean just that. I saw her. She was standing by the dugout, wearing a lavender jacket, holding her pocketbook. She didn’t say a word. She just looked at me.” 

As Charley spends a memorable day with his mother, he remembers about her mother’s sacrifices for him and also, the bad things that he did to his mother when she was still alive. One of the things that I like about this book is that the writer included flashbacks of Charley and his mother throughout the story. He even put two types of flashbacks: 

1.     Times My Mother Stood Up for Me

I am five years old. We are walking to Fanelli’s market. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a German shepherd lunges at me. Awowowow! I whirl and run. I am screaming. My mother dashes to me.

“What?” she hollers, grabbing my elbows. “What is it?”
“A dog!”
She exhales, “A dog? Where? Around here?”
I nod, crying.

There is the dog. It howls again. Awowwowowow! I jump back. But my mother yanks me forward. And she barks. She barks. The dog falls into a whimpering crouch. My mother turns. 

“You have to show them who’s boss, Charley,” she says. 

2.     Times I Did Not Stand Up for My Mother 

I am six years old. It is Halloween. My mother decides, since this is my first parade, she will make me a costume: the mummy, my favourite scary character. 

We start our parade. The more I walk, the looser the rags get. Then, about two blocks out, it begins to rain. Next thing I know, the toilet paper is dissolving. The rags droop. Soon they fall to my ankles, wrists and neck, and you can see my undershirt and pyjama bottom. 

“Look at Charley!” the other kids squeal. They are laughing. 

When we reach the schoolyard, where the parents are waiting with cameras, I am wet, sagging mess of rags and toilet paper fragments. I see my mother first. As she spots me, she raises her hand to her mouth. I burst into tears. 

“You ruined my life!” I yell. 

The reason for Charley to feel so disappointed with himself is that, he had chosen his father over his mother although his father is an irresponsible man who had left their family for another woman. Charley wrote down the lists of “Times My Mother Stood Up for Me” and “Times I Did Not Stand Up for My Mother” to remind himself about the wrong choice that he had made – which is to love his father more than his mother. If he can turn back the time, he would change his mind. 

“MY FATHER ONCE TOLD ME, “You can be a mama’s boy or a daddy’s boy. But you can’t be both.”
So I was a daddy’s boy.
“I made the wrong choice,” I whispered.
My mother shook her head.
“A child should never have to choose.””

While Charley was spending the day with his mother, he suddenly discovered that his mother had been keeping secrets from him. The reason being is that his mother doesn’t want Charley to feel sad, so she has taken all the pains to herself. The moment when I discovered about the truths, I cannot help myself but to cry to my heart’s content because mothers can really sacrifice a lot of things for their children. In that one day, Charley has learned that people should appreciate their lives. So, instead of killing himself, he has decided to make amendments to fix his relationship with his daughter and his wife. The unexpected encounter between his mother and him has changed his life forever. 

Before I end my entry, I would like to include one of the moments where I shed my tears. Indeed, Mitch Albom’s writing is simply amazing. Therefore, for next week, I will feature another novel from Albom, which entitled the five people you meet in heaven. I hope you will enjoy reading this novel and do come back again next week for more reviews. Until next time, bye bye and have a pleasant day ahead. 

“She was always correcting my grammar.
“Me and Roberta are gonna ‒,” I’d start.
“Roberta and I,” she would interrupt.
“Me and Jimmy want to ‒,”
“Jimmy and I,” she would say.

And on that day, when Charley meets his mother and their time is almost over, she still says the same thing. A mother will never forget her children, but children tend to forget their parents when they are busy with their own life. 

“Me and my mother,” I mumbled.
I felt a soft kiss on my forehead.
“My mother and I,” she corrected. And she was gone.

This is a video about this novel.It will give you some insights about this story.

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