Hike Books Forward – September 9

This week I have highlight two audiobooks. Both were published in 2018, One is a fun middle-grade fantasy novel, the other is a reflective adult novel placed in the context of heaven.

Granted – John David Anderson 2018

This middle-grade fantasy novel is a quick and easy read (listen). It is a cute story of a fairy (a granter-in-training), Ophelia Delphinium Fidgets, who finally receives an assignment to grant her first wish. In order to do so, she must make a personal connection with the request, sprinkle some fairy dust, and declare the wish granted. Her assignment was a wish that was made on a coin thrown into a fountain by a young girl, but the task of finding the coin was not as easy as Ophelia thought it might be. The excitement and the acts of adventure surrounding the completion of this wish-granting task are creatively communicated by the author (John David Anderson) and made for an enjoyable read (thanks in part to the narrator of the audiobook, Cassandra Morris). Some of the characters and situations were a little dull for me but Sam saved the story and made the book well worth the time.

The Next Person You Meet in Heaven – (The Five People You Meet in Heaven #2) – Mitch Albom (author and narrator) 2018

This short book is an intriguing follow-up to the bestseller, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, by Mitch Albom. This novel takes place 15 literary years after the original setting. In the first offering, Eddie dies saving the life of a young girl, Annie, at an amusement park and encounters five people as he enters heaven that have shaped his life experiences and provide meaning for his days on earth. Now, this book tells Annie’s story.

The accident that took Eddie’s life also greatly impacted Annie. It severed her left hand, which needed to be surgically reattached. Her daily experience was altered by her guilt-ridden mother and the bullies that made up her young life. Only one boy seemed to have compassion and understand but he moved away leaving despair and unhappiness. But as a young woman, Paulo reconnects with her, and the book opens on Paulo and Annie’s wedding day. Then, another unbelievable accident occurs, and Annie must face the realities of the past.

This is not a Christian book written from an evangelical perspective, but the sovereign hand of God in relationships and circumstances is easy to see between the lines. I don’t think the book is meant to be a theological treatise on heaven, but I appreciated the connections of the characters and the impact that people have on people.

Book covers found at Goodread.com

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