Reading Group Guide

The Five People You Meet in Heaven

The following list of questions about this book are intended as resources to aid individual readers and book groups who would like to learn more about the author and this novel. We hope that this guide will provide you a starting place for discussion, and suggest a variety of perspectives from which you might approach this book.

  1. Describe what Albom’s heaven is like. If it differs from what you imagined, share those differences.
  2. “No story sits by itself. Sometimes stories met at corners and sometimes they cover one another completely, like stones beneath a river.” How does this statement relate to the story and to your own life?
  3. Discuss Eddie’s five people and their relationship to him. Is it possible to know — or sense — who some or all of your own five people are?
  4. Eddie isn’t reincarnated, but does karma play a part in his life just the same? What does the novel tell us about the connection between life and death?
  5. Do you find any significance in the number five?
  6. Briefly discuss the five lessons Eddie learns — and how they might be lessons for all of us.
  7. Albom moves the narrative from past to present through Eddie’s birthdays. How effective is this style? How do these techniques help inform the story? What information do you learn by moving around in time?
  8. Examine Eddie’s relationship with his father. How have decisions by your parents affected your life?
  9. How would you respond when Eddie asks “why would heaven make you relive your own decay?”
  10. How does the device of counting down the final minutes of Eddie’s life affect your experience of the story and of Eddie?


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