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Book Review : Have a little faith

March 24, 2010

Mitch Albom tells a good story and Have a little faith (Sphere, 2009) is not only a good story but a true one. It begins when Mitch is approach, after giving a speech, by his childhood rabbi who asks if he will do his eulogy. Mitch is rather surprised but agrees. However he realizes if he is to do his eulogy he will need to know him as a person instead of just his childhood rabbi. And so begins an eight year relationship which is life changing for Mitch. He discovers amongst other things that his old rabbi is genuine, honest, humble, God believing, hard working, a faithful carer of his flock, and a bad dresser!

While telling this story, Mitch also weaves into the narrative the story of Henry Covington. Henry is a reformed drug addict who is now the pastor of a church basically made up of homeless people. Henry’s church is in Detroit where Mitch also lives. It seems Mitch’s relationship with the rabbi has pricked Mitch’s conscious so he gets involved in helping this church as they aid the homeless.

As the book draws to a close Mitch makes the common author error of telling too much. Rather than leave these two stories side by side and let the reader make up their own minds about the validity of each person’s faith, Mitch decides to share with us his own opinions and strongly implies that all faiths are the same. A conclusion I cannot agree with. This detracted from my enjoyment of an otherwise entertaining story.

P.S. Mitch says he never knows why his old rabbi asks him to do his eulogy, and yet he makes a point of telling us that the rabbi asked him this question after he heard him give a speech. The reason is simple the rabbi wanted a good public speaker to do his eulogy and after hearing Mitch on radio I would say he was ideal.

by Susan Barnes
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Susan Barnes

~ writer of insightful posts about God and faith