Saturday, July 18, 2015

Have A Little Faith by Mitch Albom

Have A Little Faith (2009)Mitch Albom has touched many people hearts with his books: THE FIVE PEOPLE YOU MEET IN HEAVEN, TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE, FOR ONE MORE DAY and then HAVE A LITTLE FAITH.  Quite an accomplishment for someone who still considers himself a sports journalist.  I knew I wanted to read HAVE A LITTLE FAITH when it first came out in 2009, but waiting lists at the library were extremely long, and even getting on the WPLC hold list for an e-book meant months and months of waiting.  And somewhere along the way, I think my opportunity to check out the ebook came through when I had absolutely NO time to read, so I let my check out pass, and put my name back on the holds list.  Finally, I got a second chance to check out a copy for my nook and actually read Albom's book.

Raised Jewish, Albom has never abandoned his faith and heritage, but he did stray from weekly worship and observances.  As he confesses, he never joined a synagogue in Detroit or anywhere he's lived since leaving home.  When Rabbi Albert Lewis (the Reb) from his childhood synagogue asks if Albom will deliver his eulogy, Mitch decides he needs to become re-acquainted with the 82 year old man who was his first (and really his only) spiritual leader.  Over the next 8 years, the two men become close and Mitch finds himself in another relationship that has him examining his place in the world.  Readers will come to see God's presence in the quiet, steady life Albert Lewis has lived and perhaps will see the same in their own pastors and rabbis.  Although Lewis's age causes him to relinquish the major role of temple rabbi to another, both Albom and readers see that once a "pastor" always a "pastor."  Also of great importance in this simple book is the strength of community.  Very soon into the book, the conversations with Rabbi Lewis begin to be interspersed with brief vignettes into the life of someone named Henry.  As the book progresses, we learn that Henry is Henry Covington, the pastor of an inner-city Detroit congregation. As Albom weaves a story of similarities and differences, it becomes apparent just what a difference a little faith can have.  I did not realize that Albom has used his successful writing career and fame to launch several needed charities in Detroit and around the globe.  Truly he understands his place in communities, both far and near.

I like Albom's contemplative, yet easy style in his nonfiction.  I see that he has a new fiction title coming out in November centered about music (THE MAGIC STRINGS OF FRANKIE PRESTO) plus somehow I've never read THE FIRST PHONE CALL FROM HEAVEN, another fiction title.
Life is like that; I scratch one book off my to be read list, and two more appear!!  It appears that authors are writing faster than I can read!

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