Mitch Albom's "The Five People You Meet in Heaven" follows a character named Eddie who dies and encounters five people who help him to understand the significance of his life on Earth. Through conversations and flashbacks with these individuals, Eddie comes to understand the impact his life had on others and the purpose of his life.
At the start of the novel, Eddie is an elderly maintenance technician at an amusement park named Ruby Pier. Eddie is crippled from injuries he sustained during World War II, and has had a difficult life filled with abuse and neglect. When a ride malfunctions, Eddie jumps to save a young girl from a falling ride cart and is killed in the process.
In heaven, Eddie first meets the Blue Man from the pier's freak show, who died when Eddie was 8 years old. The Blue Man reveals that Eddie was responsible for his death, teaching him that nothing happens randomly, and everyone is interconnected. Next, Eddie meets his captain who died during World War II and learns that everyone dies for a reason. When Eddie meets Ruby, the namesake of Ruby Pier, she shows him his abusive father and teaches him forgiveness.
The fourth person Eddie meets is his wife, who teaches him about the endurance of love. Finally, a young girl whom Eddie tried to rescue during the war tells him that he succeeded in saving the girl from the pier, and that his life's purpose was keeping children safe.