Mitch Albom is finally returning to Heaven.
The renowned best-selling author, best known for The Five People You Meet in Heaven, will publish a sequel to that beloved 2003 novel this fall, EW has confirmed. The follow-up is called The Next Person You Meet in Heaven, and it will carry on the story that Albom began 15 years ago.
The Five People You Meet in Heaven told the story of Eddie, a grizzled war veteran-turned-amusement park mechanic who died saving the life of a young girl named Annie. Eddie, who felt his life was meaningless, journeyed to heaven and encountered five people from his time on earth him who showed him every life matters, and we touch each other in countless, unimaginable ways. The book became a phenomenon, remaining on the New York Times best-seller list for 95 weeks and inspiring a movie of the same name starring Jon Voight and Ellen Burstyn.
According to Harper, who is publishing The Next Person, the sequel will reveal what happened to Annie, the little girl, how her world changed after the accident, and what awaits her when she eventually makes her own journey to heaven and reunites with the man who saved her. We learn how the accident that took Eddie’s life took something from Annie as well: her left hand and her memory of the accident. In the new book, Annie is whisked away by a guilt-ravaged mother to start a new life, far away from the world she knew. She makes mistake after mistake and comes to feel she is fated to a life of trying but failing. The Next Person tells Annie’s story through her early 30s when she reconnects with childhood love Paulo before an inevitable reunion with Eddie, who is now one of the five people to illuminate her life, much the way his was illuminated by others.
“Over the years, more than any book I’ve written, readers have asked me ‘What happened next to Eddie and Annie?'” Albom said in a statement. “Although I’ve never done a sequel before, I felt there was a natural story about Eddie going from meeting five people to being one of five for somebody else. And exploring how a girl lives once she’s saved from death was very appealing material. So I dove in — and I was surprised where it took me.”
Albom’s books have sold more than 35 million copies worldwide. He’s also known for Tuesdays with Morrie and The Time Keeper, and he most recently published his fifth novel, The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto, in 2015.
The Next Person You Meet in Heaven will be published by Harper in October.