And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer, by Fredrik Backman (2016)

Contemporary Fiction
And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer, by Fredrik BackmanGrandpa is sitting on a bench with his adored grandson Noah. They share a love of mathematics and space, as well as a wonderfully quirky sense of humour. (They exchange “unnecessary presents” – Grandpa’s favourite from Noah is the chocolate bar Noah had already eaten.) The bench is an imaginary one in Grandpa’s failing memory, scattered with the detritus of a life lived with love, passion, and some regret. Over the span of fewer than 80 pages, we learn about Grandpa’s life, how he fell in love and spent years tormenting his wife by hiding coriander plants in the garden, why the anchor by his shed sits on stones, and how mathematics has served as a pillar of comfort he now shares with Noah after raising a son who preferred words over numbers. It’s like being caught in a stormy sea of memory waves – they go back and forth, eventually taking you somewhere that you can never quite see. Despite its short length, I took several days to read this, finding it an emotionally difficult story to read in one sitting. It’s sad and funny, as I’ve learned to expect from Backman, author of the terrific A Man Called Ove and Britt-Marie Was Here, but most of all, it is to me a reminder that the well-lived life is made up of moments and not events. My thanks to publisher Atria Books for the advance reading copy provided through NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review.
More discussion and reviews of this novella:

About Michelle Mallette
I'm just trying to keep track of the books I've read - what I liked and what isn't worth re-reading. My work as a librarian has included youth services so you'll find a wide range of interests from picture books and teen dystopia to adult sci-fi, road trip novels, and nonfiction. Comments and communication is always welcome.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: