By Tara Verderosa, re-printed from The Nevada Sagebrush
Praise the Lord! Although Mitch Albom’s last novel, “For One More Day,” was the most tragic of sins, readers can be assured that penance was made, and “Have a Little Faith” is of the same award-winning quality that originally brought Albom to fame. Author of the bestsellers “The Five People You Meet in Heaven” and “Tuesdays with Morrie,” Albom presents readers with yet another miraculous story filled with life lessons and beautiful delivery.
As the novel is a true story based on Albom’s interactions with religion, Albom does an impressive job taking the controversial topic of faith and making it both relatable and nonthreatening, no matter the reader’s beliefs. Though “Have a Little Faith” tells the story of his relationship with Rabbi Albert Lewis (The Reb) and Pastor Henry Covington, deep down the story has little to do with religion and more to do with learning the true ingredients to happiness and a meaningful life. As in his previous bestseller, “Tuesdays with Morrie,” readers are presented with a plethora of life lessons, presented in a fresh and more conversational way.
Albom, who spent his entire life running from God, feels insignificant and horrified when his childhood pastor, Reb, asks him to deliver his eulogy. Reluctantly, Albom agrees that if he can get to know his seemingly powerful and pious rabbi more as a person, he will do it.
While at the pulpit, Reb is a man with a booming voice and moving sermons and is the epitome of authority. At home, Albom sees he is the same Bermuda-wearing, musical-loving and slightly awkward man that we all are, equipped with his very own skeletons in his closet. As Reb and Covington’s own struggles with self-identity and righteousness are revealed, readers are fed the key ingredients to a life of fulfillment.
One particularly memorable passage reads:
“My plans as a young man — my ‘citizen of the world’ dreams — had come true, to a degree. I had friends in different time zones. I’d had books published in foreign languages. I’d had many addresses over the years. But you can touch everything and be connected to nothing. I knew airports better than I knew local neighborhoods. I knew more names in other area codes than I did on my block,” Albom reflects after a particularly meaningful conversation with Reb about his relationships and goals.”
As Reb comes closer to his death, his lessons become more personal and passionate, explaining that selflessness is the key to happiness and that the material- and status-oriented things in life ultimately mean nothing.
While it was a fantastic read, I couldn’t help but continuously relate it to his previous novel “Tuesdays with Morrie.” Though it’s one of my favorite books ever, and I didn’t mind reading something similar, I felt there was a massive lack of originality.
Originality aside, “Have a Little Faith” is a must-read for Albom fans and anyone with an interest in philosophy and happiness.