February 07, 2007 Edition

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'For One More Day'

John Bland
Publisher

I think author Mitch Albom made another grand slam with his latest book, "For One More Day." Albom is best known for his bestsellers, "Tuesdays with Morrie" and "The Five People You Meet in Heaven."

Albom is an award-winning newspaper sports columnist, talk show host and author. In "For One More Day," he combines a story about a man on the brink of suicide with the story of the man's life, relationships and baseball.

The main character in the book is Charley "Chick" Benetto, who had a brief professional baseball career, which included a trip to the World Series. Years later, after divorce, job failures and alcohol abuse, he hits bottom when he finds out he was not invited to the wedding of his daughter and only child.

In "For One More Day," Charley is reunited for a day with his mother, who died eight years earlier. In the surreal hours spent with his mother, Charley comes to understand much more about the lives of his mother and father, who had divorced when Chick was 11. Charley's mother, Posey, had been a nurse, then a hairdresser, but he learns that she also cleaned houses to help pay for his college expenses.

The reader also learns about Charley's childhood, youth and adult life. Throughout the day, we learn, right along with Charley, several basic life lessons and some surprises.

Albom's book has no real happily-ever-after ending, such as the movie, "It's a Wonderful Life." However, the story is uplifting, and it's message is clear: life is precious and it's never too late to try to make amends and piece back together one's life.

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