For One More Dayby Mitch Albom
This is the story of Charley, a child of divorce who is always forced to choose between his mother and his father. He grows into a man and starts a family of his own. But one fateful weekend, he leaves his mother to secretly be with his father--and she dies while he is gone. This haunts him for years. It unravels his own young family. It leads him to depression and drunkenness. One night, he decides to take his life. But somewhere between this world and the next, he encounters his mother again, in their hometown, and gets to spend one last day with her--the day he missed and always wished he'd had. He asks the questions many of us yearn to ask, the questions we never ask while our parents are alive. By the end of this magical day, Charley discovers how little he really knew about his mother, the secret of how her love saved their family, and how deeply he wants the second chance to save his own.
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Read an Excerpt
FOR ONE MORE DAY
By Mitch Albom
Copyright © 2006
All right reserved.
Now, when I say I saw my dead mother, I mean just that. I saw her. She was
standing by the dugout, wearing a lavender jacket, holding her pocketbook. She
didn't say a word. She just looked at me.
I tried to lift myself in her direction then fell back, a bolt of pain
shooting through my muscles. My brain wanted to shout her name, but there was no
sound from my throat.
I lowered my head and put my palms together. I pushed hard again, and this
time I lifted myself halfway off the ground. I looked up.
She was gone.
I don't expect you to go with me here. It's crazy, I know. You don't see dead
people. You don't get visits. You don't fall off of a water tower, miraculously
alive despite your best attempt to kill yourself, and see your dearly departed
mother holding her pocketbook on the third-base line.
I have given it all the thought that you are probably giving it right now; a
hallucination, a fantasy, a drunken dream, the mixed-up brain on its mixed-up
way. As I say, I don't expect you to go with me here.
But this is what happened. She had been there. I had seen her. I lay on the
field for an indeterminate amount of time, then I rose to my feet and I got
myself walking. I brushed the sand and debris from my knees and forearms. I was
bleeding from dozens of cuts, most of them small, a fewbigger. I could taste
blood in my mouth.
I cut across a familiar patch of grass. A morning wind shook the trees and
brought a sweep of yellow leaves, like a small, fluttering rainstorm. I had
twice failed to kill myself. How pathetic was that?
I headed toward my old house, determined to finish the job......
* * *
My father once told me, "You can be a mama's boy or a daddy's boy. But you can't
So I was a daddy's boy. I mimicked his walk. I mimicked his deep, smoky
laugh. I carried a baseball glove because he loved baseball, and I took every
hardball he threw, even the ones that stung my hands so badly I thought I would
When school was out, I would run to his liquor store on Kraft Avenue and stay
until dinnertime, playing with empty boxes in the storeroom, waiting for him to
finish. We would ride home together in his sky blue Buick sedan, and sometimes
we would sit in the driveway as he smoked his Chesterfields and listened to the
I have a younger sister named Roberta, and back then she wore pink ballerina
slippers almost everywhere. When we ate at the local diner, my mother would yank
her to the "ladies'" room-her pink feet sliding across the tile-while my
father took me to the "gents'." In my young mind I figured this was life's
assignment: me with him, her with her. Ladies'. Gents'. Mama's. Daddy's.
A daddy's boy.
I was a daddy's boy, and I remained a daddy's boy right up to a hot,
cloudless Saturday morning in the spring of my fifth grade year. We had a
doubleheader scheduled that day against the Cardinals, who wore red wool
uniforms and were sponsored by Connor's Plumbing Supply.
The sun was already warming the kitchen when I entered in my long socks,
carrying my glove, and saw my mother at the table smoking a cigarette. My mother
was a beautiful woman, but she didn't look beautiful that morning. She bit her
lip and looked away from me. I remember the smell of burnt toast and I thought
she was upset because she messed up breakfast.
"I'll eat cereal," I said.
I took a bowl from the cupboard.
She cleared her throat. "What time is your game, honey?"
"Do you have a cold?" I asked.
She shook her head and put a hand to her cheek. "What time is your game?"
"I dunno." I shrugged. This was before I wore a watch.
I got the glass bottle of milk and the big box of corn puffs. I poured the
corn puffs too fast and some bounced out of the bowl and onto the table. My
mother picked them up, one at a time, and put them in her palm.
"I'll take you," she whispered. "Whenever it is."
"Why can't Daddy take me?" I asked.
"Daddy's not here."
"Where is he?"
She didn't answer.
"When's he coming back?"
She squeezed the corn puffs and they crumbled into floury dust.
I was a mama's boy from that day on.......
* * *
The house was musty, and there was a faint, sweet smell of carpet cleaner,
as if someone (the caretaker we paid?) had recently shampooed it. I stepped past
the hallway closet and the banister we used to slide down as kids. I entered the
kitchen, with its old tile floor and its cherrywood cabinets. I opened the
refrigerator because I was looking for something alcoholic; by now this was a
reflex with me.
And I stepped back.
There was food inside.
Tupperware. Leftover lasagna. Skim milk. Apple juice. Raspberry yogurt. For a
fleeting moment, I wondered if someone had moved in, a squatter of some kind,
and this was now his place, the price we paid for ignoring it for so long.
I opened a cabinet. There was Lipton tea and a bottle of Sanka. I opened
another cabinet. Sugar. Morton salt. Paprika. Oregano. I saw a dish in the sink,
soaking under bubbles. I lifted it and slowly lowered it, as if trying to put it
back in place.
And then I heard something.
It came from upstairs.
It was my mother's voice.
I ran out the kitchen door, my fingers wet with soapy water..........
* * *
What I remember most, hiding on that back porch, is how fast my breath left
me. One second I had been at the refrigerator, dragging through the motions, the
next second my heart was racing so fast I thought no amount of oxygen could
sustain it. I was shaking. The kitchen window was at my back, but I didn't dare
look through it. I had seen my dead mother, and now I had heard her voice. I had
broken parts of my body before, but this was the first time I worried I had
damaged my mind.
I stood there, my lungs heaving in and out, my eyes locked on the earth in
front of me. As kids, we'd called this our "backyard," but it was just a square
of grass. I thought about bounding across it to a neighbor's house.
And then the door opened.
And my mother stepped outside.
Right there. On that porch.
And she turned to me.
And she said, "What are you doing out here? It's cold."
NOW, I DON'T know if I can explain the leap I made. It's like jumping off the
planet. There is everything you know and there is everything that happens. When
the two do not line up, you make a choice. I saw my mother, alive, in front of
me. I heard her say my name again. "Charley?" She was the only one who ever
called me that.
Was I hallucinating? Should I move toward her? Was she like a bubble that
would burst? Honestly, at this point, my limbs seemed to belong to someone else.
"Charley? What's the matter? You're all cut."
She was wearing blue slacks and a white sweater now-she was always dressed,
it seemed, no matter how early in the morning-and she looked to be no older
than the last time I had seen her, on her seventy-ninth birthday, wearing these
red-rimmed glasses she got as a present. She turned her palms gently upward and
she beckoned me with her eyes and, I don't know, those glasses, her skin, her
hair, her opening the back door the way she used to when I threw tennis balls
off the roof of our house. Something melted inside of me, as if her face gave
off heat. It went down my back. It went to my ankles. And then something broke,
I almost heard the snap, the barrier between belief and disbelief.
I gave in.
Off the planet.
"Charley?" she said. "What's wrong?"
I did what you would have done.
I hugged my mother as if I'd never let her go.
Excerpted from FOR ONE MORE DAY
by Mitch Albom
Copyright © 2006 by Mitch Albom.
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Meet the Author
Mitch Albom is an author, playwright, and screenwriter who has written seven books, including the international bestseller Tuesdays with Morrie, the bestselling memoir of all time. His first novel, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, was an instant number-one New York Times bestseller that has since sold more than six million copies worldwide. Both books were made into acclaimed TV films. Mitch also works as a columnist and a broadcaster, and serves on numerous charitable boards. He lives with his wife, Janine, in Michigan.
- Franklin, Michigan
- Date of Birth:
- May 23, 1958
- Place of Birth:
- Passaic, New Jersey
- B.A., Brandeis University, 1979; M.J., Columbia University, 1981; M.B.A., Columbia University, 1982
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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This beautiful story touches the depth of the soul and makes us contemplate our fears, hopes and dreams. It forces us to question our mortality and of our loved ones. This is the story of Chick Benetto, a former professional baseball player. After middle age attacks Chick, he decides to take his own life after having lost both of his parents, his job and his marriage. Since his mother's death 8 years earlier, he'd been slowly drinking himself to death. Chick decides to visit his parent's boarded up home one last time before he puts the gun to his head. When he lets himself into the house he finds food cooking and a well-stocked house. He turns a corner. There stands is mother welcoming him with open arms. Chick has one last day with his mother, day to watch her work, to talk with her and sees his past the way it really was and not as he'd imagined it. Wouldn't we all love JUST ONE MORE DAY WITH SOMEONE WE LOVED AND LOST? Other good ones: THE FIVE PEOPLE WE MEET IN HEAVEN EXPLOSION IN PARIS THE BOY WHO CAME BACK FROM HEAVEN LET'S TAKE THE LONG WAY HOME THE SHACK
Another one of the authors fine books! A heartwarming story and a glimpse into the lives of some folks that we learned to care very much about. Has there ever been a person who did not wish For One More Day with a deceased loved one? This little book is a bit of wish fulfillment that is filled with hope and love. Charley Benetto is fortunate enough to get one more day with his deceased mother, as he lay dying in the grass after a botched suicide attempt. His mother teaches him lessons that help him to turn his broken life around, allowing him to reconcile with his daughter and begin leading a productive life. Ultimately I think this book hooked because I am a mother, and it made me think about the legacy that I want to leave in my childrens' eyes. It also made me think about my own childhood and my relationship with my parents. It doesn't take very long to read this book, but the warm fuzzies linger on for significantly longer. This is a wonderfully-intriguing story that is cleverly fashioned and highly recommended.
This was a great interesting read. I enjoyed this one and hope the next book comes out soon.
This was an incredibly touching book. It talks about a son who lost his mother and is down and out on his luck in life. He is older and his family isn't really loving him right now. He gets into an accident and finds himself face-to-face with his dead mother. He knows she's gone and she knows that too but somehow, they go about life as though she was not. He slyly asks her questions about her being ... well, not alive, and she gives him semi criptic answers. He spends his day with his mother who tends to people's hair and families and he realizes that the people she is tending to are people who are about to pass on to the next life ... and beyond. It is such a compelling book and Mitch Alboom does it again.
Great book very quick read makes you really think about your life and how you treat people teaches you not to take those in your life for granted
Wow...I read this book in one weekend. What an absolutely wonderful story that will tug at your heart and put your own loved ones and your life into perspective!
If yo want a book that will cause some tears to flow, this is it. Mitch Albom is awesome at touching the readers mind and soul. I recommend that this novel be read.
I just finished reading this book approximately 3 minutes ago. I am a 13 yr old girl who was recommended this book by a friend and I have to say that I had an urge to make a comment about it everywhere. Not only did I end up crying but after this, I am going to run up to my mother and tell her that I love her because out of all of the lessons that it teaches, it demonstarates how powerful the love of a mother can be and that it cannot be taken for granted. I recommend it to all adolescents my age and older who think that they know it all. I can guarantee that they'll change their way of thinking towards their parents if they read the book. A truely amazing book and I plan on reading more books by Mitch Albom
Mitch Albom again delivers a great narrative that delves into the idea of being given a chance to possess a final day with a loved one who passed away and have the ability to truly connect and appreciate the person they are. As always Albom has a smooth deliverance to his story and it is reflected by how he is able to deliver a simple yet descriptive language and sentences that keep you engrossed in his novel. “There was a metal awning over the porch and a flower box filled with pebbles. The morning air seemed overly crisp now, and the light was strange, making the edges of the scenery too sharply defined, as if drawn in ink.” It becomes a good balance that Albom achieves as he progresses the story even with his descriptions. The structure of the novel is simple enough that it does not present any real issue, and the pacing is relatively lively to the point that chapters do not tend to drag on. The novel is broken into four principles sections and the material develops fluidly and manages to top itself each time with more anticipation and emotional moments that leave impressions in you for the remainder of the book. While at the same time Albom is giving multiple themes that easily explain themselves throughout the progression of the book. One of the biggest themes he gives is in the first couple of pages “Every family is a ghost story.” This line easily resonates in the novel and attaches to so many moments. Likewise, the theme of maturity and recognition plays one of the biggest factors in the piece. Since the structure follows Charles Benetto’s recollection of his life we in turn as the reader assimilate ourselves into Albom’s use of stream of consciousness, so easily do his thoughts become our thoughts, his fears, embarrassments, and desires become ours. This makes us, without trying too hard, remember and reflect on our own lives and the childhood moments we feel embarrassed about and proud of. It taps into our nostalgia extremely well, which in turn compounds our relatable interests with Charles Benetto and delivers him as a very realistic character. The only matter I found to be a slight issue is just how he ties the end together, it seemed a little too quick in its pace. This could have been on purpose, as it could have reflected the mindset of the main character. Even though this occurred it did not draw away drastically from the whole experience and enjoyment of the book. The book will leave a good impression and once again Albom examines a very personal and emotional topic associated with families, but manages to turn it into a heartwarming experience that leaves an impression that can only give you a smile despite the hardships discussed in it.
Out of the couple of books that I have read by Mitch Albom, this is definetly the best. Albom creates a dream like state in which the main character a former baseball player, is on a spiraling road to self destruction. When he tries to commit suicide he sees his mother who passed away years prior. He begins a wonderful and inspirational path to self forgiveness, and awareness. Mitch Albom layers his book very uniquely, where one chapter is the present, and the next is a memory. His journey is touching and up lifting. When you read this book you realize how wonderful your own parents are, and I know that I realized how I have tooken forgranted my parents. If you feel like having your spirits uplifted, you must read this novel.
Well written, just like the other books written by Mitch
I read this book two weeks after my own Mom passed away, left a huge impression on me, I've given this book as a gift to my sisters and cousins.
I am not an avid reader. I can count the number of books i have read in the past five years on one hand. I read tuesdays with morrie when it came out and loved it so i decided to look for another mitch albom book. I kid you not i am not a "reader" but i started reading the book and i didn't stop until i was done. I read straight through and thought it was great. Thank you once again for getting a nonreader interested in a book. Good job mr albom!!
What if you could talk to your deceased mother again, and feel again her care and love? Would it change your life? This is a story about such a happening in one man's life.
...insightful, thought-provoking novel by Mitch Albom that will bring tears to your eyes and warmth to your heart.
This was better than I expected. Enjoy all his books and this is one of the better ones. Makes you think which can be good or not so much.
Albom’s “For One More Day” is a “family ghost story” that is skillfully written that comes alive off the pages. The story involves a boy, Charles “Chick” Benetto, growing up adoring his father and wanting to please him in every way. Expectantly, his father leaves the house one night to never return. Now Chick is from a broken family in a small town where everyone seems to know the “Benetto family business.” Compounding his confusion, the story takes place during the 1960s where divorce is not common. This leaves him feeling different from the other kids in town. As any good mother, Pauline “Posey” Benetto, does the best she can raising her kids as a single parent although she she cannot fill the sense of loss Chick feels and the many questions that go unanswered by the departure of his father. This story is a touching tale for anyone who has every lost a loved one and longed for just “For One More Day” to set the record straight, tell them you love them, and to say “sorry.” Growing up with loving and caring parents is fundamental to a child’s upbringing; balanced parenting provides children with security and confidence. Chick’s father instilled within him that he was not going to be able to enjoy the benefit of being able to please both his mother and father, he had to choose. His father told him “You can be a mama’s boy or a daddy’s boy. But you can’t be both.” Chick chose to follow his father’s lead and viewed his mother as a secondary parent. The sudden split up and divorce, sent Chick into an emotional downward spiral that caused him to begin to resent his mother. After the split, his father was not a part of his life and provide no support for his family. Chick sought his father out, although he was in a nearby town, it might as well have been in another state because he did not have the means to go and find him. Over time, he gave up on the notion of ever seeing his father again. Posey could not fill the void now in Chick’s life and could not seem to do anything right in his eyes; he wanted his father. The only thing that he had left between him and his father was the love of baseball. Chick passionately worked at playing baseball often thinking of his dad sitting in the stands. He became exceptional good and received a college scholarship and eventually played Major League baseball for a short time. Fast forwarding to his adulthood, Chick did not have the life skills to deal with life’s challenges. He becomes depressed and turns to alcohol to cope. As his failing career and marriage begin to unravel he is filled with regret and despair. After learning his daughter had married and did not invite him to the wedding, Chick decides to take his own life. While unconscious, his mother now deceased, comes to him and they spend a remarkable day together. Chick now realizes that his mom had been there for him all along. The many questions he was searching for were answered, enabling Chick to put his life back together. The loss of a parent is a traumatic and devastating experience. You never have the time you think you have. This novel is a wonderful story that makes you reflect on life and the importance of the people in your life.
I absolutely loved reading this book. It kept my interest from page one. I was a little taken back by the idea that he wanted to commit suicide, but after hearing what this man has been though I felt sorry for Chick. From someone who doesn’t normally read about ghosts and spirits and what-not, this was an incredibly interesting take on the subject. In Chick’s attempt to commit suicide, he looks back on his life and how things have changed, by spending time with his dead mother. At times this can be hard to follow, but the book does a great job at tying everything together at the very end. Long story short, Chick has to figure out where thing went wrong in order to make anything right.
In Mitch Albom's novel, For One More Day, the main character, Charles "Chick" Benitto is an aging man who is having trouble in his life. His childhood started well, but his father left when he was fairly young. Back then, divorce was greatly frowned upon and his family was considered a sort of disgrace by a lot of people. When Chick was little, his dad gave him a choice. He could either be a "mommy's boy" or a "daddy's boy". He chose to be the latter. This choice greatly influenced his life. Even after his father left, he continued to follow the path his dad had laid out for him. He dropped out of college to play minor league baseball because his father wanted him to. He played in an alumni game and missed his mother's last day because his father wanted him to. Chick's mother worked so hard to set up a great life for Chick. She always stood up for Chick and tried to give him lots of love and care, but Chick never returned the favor. He was too busy trying to keep up with his dad. Chick's baseball career only lasted about 5 years. A couple of years later, Chick's wife left him. Chick began drinking a lot and got fired from his job. Then he found out his daughter had gotten married and he had not even been told until his daughter sent him a short letter. This pushed him over the edge. He went drinking and drove away, planning to kill himself by morning. Then, Chick is involved in a bad crash and finds his mother, who has been dead for over 5 years. It appears he has one more day to fix things with his mother and his life. I really liked this book. It had a good story line and some ideas that require some thought. I had read the Mitch Albom book Five Days in Heaven before this, and I liked that book a lot better. I expected this novel to be just as good, if not better, but I was sadly disappointed. Overall, this book is definitely worth reading, but it may not be as satisfying as other Mitch Albom books. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.
I finished this in 2 DAYS amazing story!
I listened to the audio version of this Mitch Albom best seller. As with the print version of Tuesdays With Morrie, I cried almost all the way through. I love Albom's insights into the human experience. In this book he has written what can touch the hearts of all children and mothers.
Father-bashing over two generations', pretty much sums up Mitch Albom's most recent tear-jerker 'For One More Day'. One of those 'let-me-be-your-counsellor' kind of novel, 'For One More Day' starts off really well where Charley the main protagonist decides he wants an out of his lack-lustre life where he's failed as a son, as a husband, and as a father. However, he's unable to do even that his suicide attempt fails! What happens next is an out-of-the-world experience where a comatose Charley establishes communication with his long dead mother a mother he 'didn't ever stand up for'. From this point on the novel is all downhill. A set of contrived situations to showcase the sheer selflessness of motherhood against an apathetic father figure telling a young Charley 'You can be a mama's boy or a daddy's boy, but you can't be both.' It took me a long time to figure out my response to the novel primarily due to a sense of guilt for not liking what Albom presented perhaps because at some level it did pertain to me, and to Everyman. All of us have some cleansing to do to rid ourselves of those ghosts from our past that seem to haunt us and here was this novel doing just that, and yet I could not readily say that I liked it. The cloying sentimentality and the not-so-surreal situations made it distant, and I could not lose myself in it I could not suspend my disbelief. If 'Tuesday's with Morrie' is what made you pick up this novel, you are bound to be disappointed.
This is a great book. Everyone should read it.