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A car careens out of control, jumps the curb and a second later 64 year-old Irving Caldman and four other Manhattan, New York residents are dead! At first Irving is observing the scene of his demise and wondering about those who were around him. But then Angel Malakh arrives to guide these five souls through the first phase of their heavenly judgment!
It's review time - a chance to take a close, personal and honest look at one's life that will determine the future of each shocked soul. Meet Clarissa Bowen, grand personal shopper for the rich and famous. She's persistently clear about refined or shoddy taste but not so clear about the father of her daughter, Twinky. Then there's Brett Taylor, unmarried and an interior decorator, whose sexual life stuns his listeners. Of course, there's bound to be a fervently religious character, Essie Mae Rowder, whose life as a domestic required much sacrifice and a dark secret of notoriety. And just what would life be like for Mendel Perlow if his focus moved from his Holocaust memories to the reality before him?
Irving is flabbergasted as he realizes his life story will probably kill the other four again with shock and anger in comparison with what he perceives as petty misdeeds in the other four pre-judgment characters.
Seeing the blessings and curses of one's existence makes for a medley of pride and shame but not necessarily clarity about how it all fits into the heavenly scheme of things. Who will help them? This angel?
Angel Malakh, however, doesn't quite fit the proverbial picture of the comforting, guardian type angels most humans imagine. He calls the shots but eventually must surrender to the most surprising ending the reader would never imagine!
Whether you agree, disagree, or muddle somewhere in the middle of this pre-judgment scenario, you will definitely not forget this unique tale that leaves the reader intimately examining one's own life journey and asking many questions about the hereafter!
Interesting, remarkable and unforgettable story, Harry Freund!
Reviewed by Viviane Crystal on September 29, 2007