The Five People You Meet in Heaven is a novel by Mitch Albom. It recounts the life and death of an old maintenance man named Eddie. After dying in an accident, Eddie finds himself in the five heavens of the five people he will meet in heaven, where he encounters five people who have significantly affected his life, whether he realized at the time or not. Mitch Albom dedicates the book to his uncle Edward Beitchman. He says that he wants people like his uncle who felt unimportant during their lives to realize how much they mattered and how they were loved.
The book begins with Eddie’s 83rd birthday at his work place, Ruby Pier. He is the head of maintenance of an amusement park. On this day he goes about his normal routine until one of the rides malfunctions. Eddie gives a fellow worker, Dominguez, instructions on how to fix the ride; however, one of the carts breaks free from the ride and falls to the pier. Eddie jumps out of the way and tries to pull a little girl out of the path of the falling cart. Eddie does not get out of the way in time and is killed by the falling coaster cart. From that point, Eddie begins his trip through heaven where he meets five people that have played a part in his life. From each person, he learns a lesson.
Throughout the movie version, the book flashes back to some of Eddie's previous birthdays.