I was in the book store specifically to pick up A Man Called Ove, which as some of you may already know, is on my TBR. As I reached to grab a copy the book next to it on the shelf, And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer, by the same author grabbed my attention. I’m not usually a fan of novellas, but I’m really glad I decided to add this Fredrik Backman book to my collection.
Spoiler alert – You’re going to need some tissues to get through this one. This heart-wrenching story of an elderly gentleman’s struggle to hold on to his precious memories while his family deals with caring for him will basically wreck you in all the best ways possible. If that makes any sense whatsoever. This is a story that will make you cherish the mundane moments of your life as you realize how much of your everyday existence you take for granted. At least, that’s what this story did for me.
You will quite literally feel all the feels.
I took in this story in one gut-wrenching sitting.
What Backman created in this novella is a way to connect, to heal and to ultimately……let go. He paints dementia so bittersweetly……did I mention you’re going to need
some all the tissues? This is a story you’ll want to revisit when needed, and you’ll want to share with loved ones who may be dealing with similar, difficult circumstances.
If you’re looking for a way to prepare your young ones or to explain what may lie ahead as you face the hardship of caring for someone that is losing their memory, this story does the job so compassionately.
When I reached the end, all I could think was, “Wow, amazing how such a small book could hold such a big, powerful message.”
This short story is filled with many lyrical gems, but this particular passage was my absolute favorite!
“Tell me about school, NoahNoah,” the old man says…
“Our teacher made us write a story about what we want to be when we’re big,” Noah tells him.
“What did you write?”
“I wrote that I wanted to concentrate on being little first.”
“That’s a very good answer.”
“Isn’t it? I would rather be old than a grown-up. All grown-ups are angry, it’s just children and old people who laugh.”
“Did you write that?”
“What did your teacher say?”
“She said I hadn’t understood the task.”
“And what did you say?”
“I said she hadn’t understood my answer.”
How amazing is that exchange?! This story is full of the most profound little messages. And it confirms for me what I’ve always believed. There is no better relationship on this Earth than the one between a grandparent and a grandchild. There is nothing but sweet, pure, uncomplicated, unwavering love….. and that is the very best kind of love there is.
Have you read this novella? This was my introduction to Backman, and after reading this story I’m even more ready to dive into A Man Called Ove. He has an amazing way with words!