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Mitch Albom is an author, playwright, and screenwriter who has written seven books, including the international bestseller Tuesdays with Morrie, the bestselling memoir of all time. His first novel, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, was an instant number-one New York Times bestseller that has since sold more than six million copies worldwide. Both books were made into acclaimed TV films. Mitch also works as a columnist and a broadcaster, and serves on numerous charitable boards. He lives with his wife, Janine, in Michigan.
In Albom's, second novel, retired baseball player Charley "Chick" Benetto-facing the pain of unfulfilled ambitions, alcohol abuse, divorce, and estrangement from a grown daughter-returns to his abandoned childhood home and attempts suicide in a bungling fit of rage. He encounters the spirit of his deceased mother, Pauline "Posey" Benetto, who Chick thoughtlessly took for granted during both his formative years as cocky athlete and his booze-soaked adulthood. Miraculously, Chick can now apologize to Posey for his ingratitude concerning the sacrifices she made as a single, working mother. Albom narrates with finesse, particularly in Chick's wistful litany of his mother's pearls of wisdom, "A child embarrassed by his mother is just a child who hasn't lived long enough." If Posey's truisms may not necessarily break new literary ground, Albom deserves credit for giving her depth and complexity that transcend familiar pop culture notions of motherhood in '50s America. The gentle strumming of musical accompaniment befits Albom's brand of writing. This "ghost story" provides an affirming tale of moral instruction and emotional catharsis. Simultaneous release with the Hyperion hardcover (Reviews, Aug. 28). (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.