For one more day is an autobiography rather than fiction. It probably falls under the genre of psychology too. I can never tell the correct genre of Mitch Albom’s books. I think “Tuesday with Morrie” is his true story. Of course, “the 5 people you meet in heaven” is fictional. Albom kicked off his writing career as a sport’s columnist. As to how he managed to write these 3 bestsellers – not relating to sports whatsoever – is beyond me.
The book asked you one simple question – if you were given one more day with your dead parent, would you be brave enough to accept it and make amends along the way?
The protagonist, Charley “Chick” Benetto, is an alcoholic. He started off as a promising baseball star who could no longer hit a home run. Imprisoned in dead-end job as a salesman and bitter divorce, Chick turned to alcohol for solace. When his only daughter shunned him from her wedding, Chick attempted to commit suicide. Caught in between life and death, Chick was transported back to the old house where he grew up and to his utter disbelief, he found his mother cooking breakfast!
Chick was granted one more day with his mother. Albom then moved the story to Chick’s childhood and adolescence and what transpired in between. Faced with a confusing choice of being either “mommy’s boy” or “daddy’s boy” at a tender age, Chick picked the latter. So much so that he would knowingly hurt his mother’s feeling to win his father’s approval.
The inevitable divorce of his parents torn the family apart. Chick never achieved his dream of becoming a baseball star. He neglected his family in futile search of happiness. He reached his ultimate guilt when he lied to his mother on her birthday to go and play baseball. As fate would have it, his mother died. The guilt haunted him for a lifetime.
For that one more day with his mother, Chick was made to understand why certain things happened in his life. He understood the reasons for his parents’ divorce. He understood the sacrifices his mother had made. Lucky Chick was bestowed with a chance to apologise to his mother. He survived the ordeal and lived to tell the tale.
Albom creatively wove the story to include the emotional notes Chick’s mother wrote to him from time to time. Warning: this book can be a tearjerker for sensitive souls. The plot was accompanied with the intermissions of the times Chick didn’t stand up for his mother and the times she stood up for him. I found the intermissions refreshing and stylish.
Albom is a master of simple English. He narrated the poignant story with stlye that is unmistakably his. However, Albom played God in this book. So, if you are a realist, this book is definitely not for you. But, if you are able to put logic aside and bask in realm of imaginations, do read it. For me, this is a story of redemption and letting go of your past mistakes.
[Writer: Mitch Albom, ISBN: 0751537535, Publisher: Sphere]
Image from Amazom.com.