The First Phone Call from Heaven

7 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 7¾ hrs. Harper Audio. 2013. ISBN 9780062306425. $34.99; Playaway digital; digital download. F
The residents of small town Coldwater, MI, are receiving phone calls from their deceased loved ones in heaven. Some residents believe the calls are real, while others, like Sully, a disgraced veteran recently released from prison, hope to prove the calls are a hoax. Historical information about Alexander Graham Bell's invention of the telephone is interspersed throughout the mystery unfolding in present-day Coldwater. Albom's (Tuesdays with Morrie) experience as a broadcaster is evident in his excellent narration, which creates the atmosphere of a cozy bedtime story written for world-weary adults. The spare use of stock sound effects adds to the production's power as a storytelling vehicle.
VERDICT Part mystery, part meditation on faith, Albom's latest novel will satisfy his fans as well as anyone looking for an inspirational read with religious themes. ["This moving tale of loss, recovery, and the power of love will be snatched up by Albom's many fans," read the starred review of the Harper hc, LJ 11/1/13.]

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