7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 24, 2006
I was totally absorbed by For One More Day by Mitch Albom, and taken back to a time when I, too, was young and everything seemed innocent, confusing and not always explainable. I highly recommend this read, but be prepared--you'll need a box of Kleenex at your side!
Charles "Chick" Benetto has reached the end of his rope, so to speak. He is divorced and has a daughter who won't invite him to her wedding, a father who walked out on the family years ago and a mother who is dead. Chick is a washout as a baseball player and finds solace in one thing--alcohol.
Feeling that he has nothing left to live for, nothing to hold onto, he plots his suicide and returns to his family home where he finds it not as empty as it should be. Through his mother's spirit, Chick learns that things weren't always as they seemed. He asks questions about his life, about his father, and is surprised by some of the answers. Some of the conversations are bittersweet and sad, while others will make you laugh.
A cross between A Christmas Carol and Ghost, this is a beautifully wrought story that delves into the human psyche and into our yearning to go back and change things--if we had just one more day. For everyone who always wanted to go back in time, take back nasty words or find a sense of understanding, For One More Day is an emotional tribute to family bonds, love and forgiveness. One of Mitch Albom's finest works! This novel is that one last chance to see things as they were--and to make things right. Don't we all wish we had that?
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 15, 2007
I was given this book by as a gift, having heard of it, but not having mentioned wanting to read it. As an uninitiated Albom reader, I was amazed at his ability to quickly draw the reader in to the plight of the main character, Charley "Chick" Benetto. The first paragraph had me hooked, and within the first few pages I was immersed in his story of despair. I think that anyone worth their salt will share in his feelings of regret as he expresses the mistakes he's made in his life. One's childhood relationship with their mother, in retrospect, has many opportunities to go one way or the other, and in Chick's case, his is marred by his father's constant refrain "You can be a mother's boy - or a father's boy, but you can't be both" - a decision that no child should have to face. In his desire to please his father, he therefore alienates his mother, leading to a build-up of guilt and self-loathing that serve as a minefield over which he walks continuously in relationships to come. Though his mother has passed on, through a series of events beginning with his attempted suicide, he is given one more day to spend with his mother. He learns of her side of their relationship, and the extreme travails she faced and through which she persevered to give him the best life possible. Despite the short length of this book, there are a few twists and turns that really give this story a interesting and unpredictable path - right to the end I might add!
Mitch Albom's storytelling is absolutely amazing, I look forward to delving into his back catalogue if this book is any reflection of his previous work. Highly recommended!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
This kind and generous book is a mini version of The Five People You Meet in Heaven for revisiting your life to develop another perspective on it. In this case, Charley Benetto comes to see his mother through different eyes. A self-sacrificing woman, Pauline (Posey), had shielded Charley from all of the challenges their little family had faced. All that Charley knew was that his beloved Dad had moved out when Charley was young and didn't reappear in his life until his college years.
The set-up is pretty extreme. Charley goes to pieces after his mother dies. He drinks too much. He loses his money. He drives away his wife and daughter. He loses all his desire to live. Hitting bottom, Charley decides to kill himself. He heads back towards his old home town . . . and finds many surprises . . . including another day with his deceased mother.
The core of the book's appeal is the deft way that Mr. Albom captures the ambiguity many sons have towards the support they receive from their Mothers, while the Mothers are acting like the saints they often are. A good secondary appeal is the gradual exposure of deeply buried family secrets.
It's that latter point that I would like to address a little more. Families keep secrets from children for all kinds of good reasons. But children do become adults, and somewhere along the way the relationships will be improved if the secrets are revealed. You cannot hope to believe in Santa Claus all of your life in the same way you did as a five-year-old. If your parents are still alive (and I hope they will be for many years to come), think about what you don't understand about what they did when you were young. Ask them to tell you the answers. You'll all grow closer in the process.
Having found myself saying the eulogy over my father's coffin after an unexpected death, I also encourage you to be sure that you would feel at peace with yourself if your parents died today. If you wouldn't feel that way, take steps to improve that situation now. You can't be sure you'll be given a second chance like Charlie was.
Mr. Albom's book is a quick and pleasant read. He's a good story teller. But don't expect a book that's nearly as good as The Five People You Meet in Heaven. For One More Day is well below that standard in concept and execution. But it's a book that's well worth reading . . . even if it only makes you more sensitive to your Mother's needs.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 16, 2009
I thoroughly enjoyed this book (which I read in two sittings yesterday). I loved "Tuesdays with Morrie", but didn't think the author could come up with another story as good as that so had not read anything else by Mitch Albom. "One More Day" is about a mother's unconditional love, the kind of love we are not likely to find again. It's about people that are still in our hearts long after they have disappeared from our lives, and what it would be like to be able to be with each of them for one more day. It made me want to contact each of my old friends before one of us dies to sort through the misunderstandings, pain and regrets, to relive the happy memories, tell them that I still think of them, that I never stopped loving them, etc. I have done some of that over the last few years and it's amazing how differently each of us has thought about the same situations. Opening oneself up to some old wounds can help to lay down burdens as the passage of time reveals additional aspects, considerations, understandings. I wish I had written this little BIG book. It's an INSPIRATION.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 25, 2012
This is a very short story but it's an incredible read. It's one of those books that you'll never forget. A man,at the end of his rope returns to his abandoned childhood home to end his life in the same place where it began...only his mom answers the door. The mom whose been dead for years greets him and they spend one more day together. WOW...a chance to tell your lost loved one things that you should have said when they were with you..a chance to explain things you never explained and to to get explanations on things you never understood. Who wouldn't love to have that chance? If you still have parents, this story will make you run home and hug them. Never waste a moment with those you love!
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on November 14, 2006
This book is about spirit, the essence of who we are, and what really matters in our lives. The story is showing Charley's relationship with his parents, in particular his mother. His mother's death made a big impact on him, leading him to attempt suicide, and the reason behind this is revealed slowly through the telling of their relationship. I found the book to be well written and sentimental. It made me reflect on my own relationships. We are all imperfect beings in an imperfect world. This is a book about humanity, its faults and failures, and about redemption.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 30, 2011
This book is a must read, again and again. It makes you feel guilty for the careless words you have spoken,the moments you have missed to give a hug, or you have dismissed the kindly instructions or suggestions you have received. All in all,the hope is there for your forgivness. I would reccommend this book for every person to read, it is never to late to pay a little more attention to your family ,heed their advice, and pray that you still have time to correct your mistakes, and say to your parents I LOVE YOU.Yes! I would give anything to see my mother again, even FOR ONE MORE DAY.
on November 1, 2010
I loved it. I am a notoriously slow reader but I read this on a flight from Beijing to Hong Kong. OK, so it is a small book but the point is, it kept me totally gripped all the way through. I have read Tuesdays with Morrie and The Five People you meet in heaven and loved both of those too...I find his style so thought provoking and yet down to earth and so easy to read. I want to read more and yet part of me never wants the book to end. His wisdom shines through all of these books and his observations around relationships and indeed life are spot on.
On a personal level for me, for some reason, having not even read the back cover for a synopsis first, I picked up this book and started reading it just weeks after the death of my Dad, having spent a month with my Mum when usually we are continents apart...literally, so get very little time together. It was interesting timing to say the least, given the content of the book and made it even more poignant for me. I think everyone with parents, should read it! Both to be reminded of the inevitable; one day our parents will no longer be around and hopefully to remind us of the importance of these relationships, before it is too late.
on July 31, 2007
'For One More Day' is a sentimental book, and it is similar in its reverie for the after-life to his other book 'The Five People You Meet in Heaven'; however, this is the better of the two. 'For One More Day' encourages introspection about situations and people in your own life, and there is the underlying spiritual/real world crossover, which is intriguing (and a little creepy), if not only for a moment. It is a story of a man facing a crisis and coming to terms with some of his "demons" while trying to repair his life. He gets to revisit things that have troubled him in his life, while facing his mortality, and he rectifies things with his mother he didn't even know needed rectifying. In 'For One More Day' you realize that Mitch Albom just seems to "get" people. He imbues his books with softness and light, and he seems to cherish even the smallest of human interactions. In the final chapter of 'For One More Day', there is enough cleverness to give you food for thought and appreciate a sweet book by a good author and some time well spent.
on June 23, 2007
"For One More Day" by Mitch Albom is a fabulous story about family life, relationships, feelings and secrets between its members.
The story is delivered in a way that captures the reader's attention right from the start. We meet Charles "Chick" Benetto, the main character of the book at a very difficult time in his life. The death of his mother caused a series of disruptions and dramatic changes in his life. Devastated and depressed, Chick found comfort in alcohol which caused his wife and daughter to leave him soon after. A series of unfortunate events follows which makes him realize that he does not deserve to live and decides to end his existence. It is at this moment that Chick is getting the chance to spend "one more day" with his mother. The time with her gives him an opportunity to learn the family's secrets. As a child, his father imposed a choice on him, "You can be a mama's boy or a daddy's boy. But you can't be both." Wanting to please his father he made a decision and became a "daddy's boy" alienating himself from his mother. Since being "reunited" with his mother, she made him see the things that she saw, and made him feel what she felt when they were still a family all those years ago. Thanks to her he began to understand the things which he was not able to comprehend as a child. Chick knows now that his mother sacrificed herself for her children. He understands her love and wisdom.
It is a very well written book. It makes you take a step back and reevaluate what is important in your life. I enjoyed it and recommend reading this amazing story.