My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A beautiful novella by the man known for A Man Called Ove and My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, Fredrik Backman, that tells the story of an elderly man’s struggle to hold on to his memories. Grandpa and Noah are sitting on a bench in a square that is getting smaller every day. Grandpa tells Noah stories about falling in love, how umbers can solve any problem and how soon, Noah will need to say goodbye.
Noah’s feet don’t touch the ground when his legs dangle over the edge of the bench, but his head reaches all the way to space, because he hasn’t been alive long enough to allow anyone to keep his thoughts on Earth.
Noah’s father, Ted, is there soon to help Grandpa find the way home, a path which has become more difficult to travel since Grandma passed away. Ted and Grandpa never understood each other, one loves numbers while the other loves words, but Noah bridges the gap between them.
He learned his lesson he was a different man when Noah was born, became someone else as Grandpa than he had been as a father.
Backman’s beautiful story of a man holding n t the memories that mean the most and how losing the way home affects everyone is a tear-jerking tale addressing love, aging, and mortality.
Humans are a strange breed in the way our fear of getting old seems to be even greater than our fear of dying.
Some books have the power to heal open wounds, to alleviate pain that has lingered for so long, and t aide in understanding the confusing aspects of being human. And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer is a short story with a huge message.
This is for anyone that has ever looked into the eyes of a loved one and seen a blank stare; for anyone struggling to understand the horrible reality of dementia or Alzheimer’s; for anyone looking for a story that shows the beauty and the strength in the bond between family members; or for anyone needing a good book to cry over.
For such a short book, it is packed with images that brought tears to my eyes. Using this image of a square that gets smaller every day to represent how Grandpa is losing the memories he has collected over his lifetime is a brilliant way to explain memory loss. Noah’s reaction to Grandpa’s brain being sick is heart-warming and innocent. The relationships between Grandpa and Noah and Grandpa and Ted are realistic and are what make the novella wonderful.
Grandpa may be losing his memory, but Noah is there to help keep his feet on the ground.
This book was over too soon. I digested it in a matter a about an hour while putting my youngest down for nap. No, it didn’t take that long for her to fall asleep, but I couldn’t move. I had to finish reading. I had big, fat, ugly tears falling down my face through about 3/4 of it and I didn’t even care. I think one of the scariest things about getting older is losing those memories that make you who you are and Backman taps into this common fear.
I think the most beautiful part of this novel is the introductory letter to readers. It set the stage for a truly wonderful experience. Backman writes, “I never meant for you to read it, to be honest. I wrote it just because I was trying to sort out my own thoughts..”
I great book, but be prepared for a little tears!