I have a confession to make. Even though I'm a librarian, I sometimes balk at reading the authors everyone else is reading. I've even heard Fredrik Backman speak, and he loves libraries, but despite everyone's comments about his novels, such as A Man Called Ove, I haven't yet read the books. Sometimes, though, I can come at an author's works via a novella. And Every Morning the Way Gets Home Gets Longer and Longer is just that, a novella that draws in a reader.
It's a big story in a small package, a story that will break your heart. It's a story of the love shared by a Grandpa and his grandson, Noah. They share a love of math and fishing, and memories of Grandma. But, Grandpa's world is changing. They're in an unfamiliar world that seems to be shrinking. "We're in my brain, Noahnoah. And it got smaller overnight again." When Noah asks about pieces of paper, his Grandpa answers, "Those are ideas blowing away and they've been doing that for a long time."
Backman says good-byes are hard. And, they're hard when everyone knows they're coming. Grandpa worries he won't remember his stories. He won't know what to do when they're lost in his world. "What do I say to Noah? How do I explain that I"m leaving him even before I do?" And, the wise Noah says he'll tell Grandpa the stories so they can remember, and, if Grandpa forgets him, he'll get to meet him all over again, and he's a pretty nice person to meet.
It might sound hokey to say Backman's story tugs at your heartstrings. If you've ever loved a grandparent or a parent, and watched them age, the novella will break your heart. But, there's so much love in Backman's And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer that you'll want to share this book with others. It's worth sharing.
And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer by Fredrick Backman. Atria Books. 2016. 9781501160486 (hardcover), 76p.
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