Albom sets “The First Phone Call from Heaven,” in Small Town America. The story takes place in Coldwater, Michigan where local townsfolk begin receiving phone calls from deceased relatives they recently lost. All around the same time the police chief hears from his deceased son who was killed in Afghanistan, a woman gets calls on her cell phone from her dead sister, and another woman starts getting calls from her mother in heaven. Believers – and protesters – descend on the small Northern Michigan town as word of the heavenly phone calls spreads by way of an up-and-coming television news reporter. Interwoven in this very spiritual story that centers on how we connect to heaven is the story of Alexander Graham Bell’s invention of the telephone. Just as people doubted Bell’s magical telephone would really connect people who couldn’t see each other, Albom seems to remind the reader that we shouldn’t be so skeptical about these calls from heaven.
I often visit the graves of my deceased relatives and find myself talking to them as if they were still alive. Unfortunately, I get no response. I do, of course, wonder what it would be like if we could communicate with those who no longer walk this earth. Some people will pay a psychic medium like Rebecca Rosen a lot of money to help them communicate with their loved ones, but imagine what it would be like to actually receive a call on our cell phone from a beloved relative who has passed away. That is precisely what Mitch Albom’s new book is all about.