I am at such a loss for words for this novella. I’ve started this review four times and nothing seems quite right. Fredrik Backman’s writing is so touching, so beautiful, so powerful in its simplicity that trying to write about it just doesn’t feel right.
On the one hand, this is a very simple, quick read piece. I read this in about half an hour. On the other hand, there is so much depth and beauty in these very few pages that it will stay with the reader for a long time to come.
In this story an old man recognizes that the aging process is beginning to take a toll on him. He tries desperately to hang on to memories through his beloved grandson, Noah. At the same time he tries to prepare Noah (and himself) for the inevitable.
Noah and his grandfather are cut from the same cloth and the love between them is clear. Noah’s father, Ted, however, is a very different sort of man. Just as Ted’s father never had time to spend with him, so he is too busy working to spend the quality time with Noah. It’s a cycle that is all too clear to some of us. As a man in my mid-fifties, with three children in various stages of striking out on their own, I am looking at and thinking about mortality which can be frightening, but Backman, who is also thinking about mortality, shows that it’s not something to fear … it’s very natural. He also reminds us that there is much that an older person is still capable of accomplishing.
The onset of dementia or Alzheimer is something many families face and Backman looks at it here from the perspective of the individual facing the disorder/disease.
Fredric Backman is a writer whose work I will purchase and read any time I see a new work out. His works transform me. They make me reflect and they make me feel good.
Looking for a good book? Fredrik Backman’s And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer is a short but deep and warm story that you should read.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
* * * * * *
And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer
author: Fredrik Backman
translator: Alice Menzies
publisher: Atria Books
hardcover, 96 pages