This book is billed as a novel which tells us how lives and losses intersect. I would say it is much more. Shaping the story as one girl's life and her losses, Albom tells us some truths about life itself. I'm not a dog lover but when Albom mentioned that dogs have empathy which unlike humans they don't block by ego, self-pity and thinking their own pain must always be tended first I wanted to own a dog.Each character Annie meets in heaven teaches her a lesson. For example she learns from her mother that children have the disarming power of being able to need in such a way that you forget your own need.Perhaps the most profound definition in the book is that of salvation, which Albom says makes the wrongs we do open doors to do right.All of us have secrets and the author says we think that by keeping secrets, we're controlling things when in actuality they're controlling us. Albom describes losing a child as feeling utterly full and utterly vacant - indeed a poignant description. I could go on in this vein talking about all the great descriptions Mitch Albom provides suffice it to say I loved the book and reading it was a learning experience.