With no children of their own, the forty-plus children who live, play, and go to school at the orphanage have become family to Mitch and his wife, Janine. Chika’s arrival makes a quick impression. Brave and self-assured, even as a three-year-old, she delights the other kids and teachers. But at age five, Chika is suddenly diagnosed with something a doctor there says, “No one in Haiti can help you with.”
Mitch and Janine bring Chika to Detroit, hopeful that American medical care can soon return her to her homeland. Instead, Chika becomes a permanent part of their household, and their lives, as they embark on a two-year, around-the-world journey to find a cure. As Chika’s boundless optimism and humor teach Mitch the joys of caring for a child, he learns that a relationship built on love, no matter what blows it takes, can never be lost.
Told in hindsight, and through illuminating conversations with Chika herself, this is Albom at his most poignant and vulnerable. Chika is a celebration of a girl, her adoptive guardians, and the incredible bond they formed—a devastatingly beautiful portrait of what it means to be a family, regardless of how it is made.
Scrawny, filthy and wide-eyed with fear when they turn up on foster carer Maggie Hartley's doorstep, these young siblings have hardly set foot outside their own home. They have been prisoners, locked in a terrifying world of abuse and violence.
Maggie soon realises that Evie and Elliot are lacking the basic life skills we all take for granted. The outside world terrifies them; the sound of the doorbell sends them into a panic that takes hours to abate. Gradually unlocking the truth of their heart-breaking upbringing, Maggie tells their shocking true story.
From emotionally scarred and damaged little children, we see how - with warmth and dedication - Maggie transforms their lives. As this moving story unfolds, we share Maggie's joy when these children finally smile again, when they realise they do have a future after all.
Discover why readers have fallen in love with Maggie Hartley
"I absolutely loved this book. It is up there with one of the best. I have laughed and I have cried. I would give it ten stars if I could." - Amazon Reviewer, 5 stars
"If you haven't read Maggie's books they are a must read." - Amazon Reviewer, 5 stars
"Such a heart-breaking story you just can't put this book down. I have read many books of this genre and this is one of the best. Hard hitting and real... don't miss this one!" - Amazon Reviewer, 5 stars
Fifteen years ago, in Mitch Albom’s beloved novel, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, the world fell in love with Eddie, a grizzled war veteran- turned-amusement park mechanic who died saving the life of a young girl named Annie. Eddie’s journey to heaven taught him that every life matters. Now, in this magical sequel, Mitch Albom reveals Annie’s story.
The accident that killed Eddie left an indelible mark on Annie. It took her left hand, which needed to be surgically reattached. Injured, scarred, and unable to remember why, Annie’s life is forever changed by a guilt-ravaged mother who whisks her away from the world she knew. Bullied by her peers and haunted by something she cannot recall, Annie struggles to find acceptance as she grows. When, as a young woman, she reconnects with Paulo, her childhood love, she believes she has finally found happiness.
As the novel opens, Annie is marrying Paulo. But when her wedding night day ends in an unimaginable accident, Annie finds herself on her own heavenly journey—and an inevitable reunion with Eddie, one of the five people who will show her how her life mattered in ways she could not have fathomed.
Poignant and beautiful, filled with unexpected twists, The Next Person You Meet in Heaven reminds us that not only does every life matter, but that every ending is also a beginning—we only need to open our eyes to see it.