For One More Day

Author:  Mitch Albom

Published By: Hyperion

Reviewed by Melissa Minners

                I was looking for something different to read and Mitch Albom comes highly recommended by my sister-in-law, so I figured, why not?  My first foray into Albom's work?  For One More Day.

                What would you do if you had one more day with someone you lost?  One more chance to make things right?  One more day in which to tell that person how much you care about them or how sorry you are about how things went the last time you saw them?  What if that were possible?  For One More Day tells the story of former baseball player Charley Benetto and the opportunity he was given to make things right between him and his mother.

                Charley Benetto worshipped his father as a child, looking for his praise in every moment, even playing baseball because it was his father's favorite sport.  Despite the fact that his father left him at eleven years of age, leaving Charley and his sister to be raised by his mother in a time when single moms were often looked down on and gossiped about, Charley always yearned for his father's praise. 

                When Charley got into college and began playing baseball, he saw his father again for the first time in years.  They rekindled their relationship, Charley's father even helping him get a deal with Pittsburgh Pirates.  Unfortunately, due to an injury, Charley's baseball career was cut short.  But Charley had a family, a wife he loved and a daughter he adored.  It wasn't until his mother's death that he lost it all, spiraling into a depression that included excessive drinking and bouncing from job to job.

                The last straw for Charley occurs when he learns that his daughter has gotten married without inviting him to the wedding.  He goes on yet another drinking binge, crashing his car and attempting to commit suicide.  It is then that he has his moment - his day - with the one person he never truly meant to hurt and the guilt that ruined his life.

                As the book moves forward, the reader starts to realize that Charley's experience with his mother is taking place while he is unconscious after the accident.  We learn all about the events leading up to that crash and the moment that has caused Charley's guilt and his downfall.  And while we are sitting there thinking, "Yeah, so he had this dream that he was making things right with his mother," we realize that maybe his experience was real.  Especially when his dead mother reveals something about his past to Charley that he never knew...something about his father that changes everything.

                I loved how Mitch Albom wrote this book, making it sound like a true story written by a reporter.  The only other book I ever read that was so convincing (making me actually look up the history of the book to see if it was a true story) was Memoirs of a Geisha.  The book was well-written and moved quickly - I was done with it in two days, only because I couldn't read it nonstop thanks to work and other assorted important moments in life. 

                For One More Day was an enlightening read that offers up an important message: never take for granted the people you love.  What you say to them may be the very last thing you say in their lives.  Always tell that person you love them.  What a great read!  My sister-in-law was right.  I expect I will be checking out other Mitch Albom books in the future.


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