Thank You to Atria Books for providing me with an advanced copy of Fredrik Backman's novella, And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer, in exchange for an honest review.
PLOT - As Grandpa lies in a hospital room dying from Alzheimer's, his mind floats to a park bench, where he has important conversations with his son, grandson, and long-dead wife.
LIKE- I love Fredrik Backman for his heartfelt stories and beautifully written pose. He has a keen sense of empathy that shines through in his character development and observations. Reading Backman's stories is cathartic.
Having been through tremendous loss, including caregiving for my grandfather, who had Alzheimers, And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer, was a punch to the gut. I finished the story feeling shattered, but in the best possible sense, as I was moved by the art of Backman's writing.
The saddest part, was the character of Grandpa, who has so much that he wants to say as his time is running out. The most heartbreaking revelation, is with his son, Ted, with whom he never quite felt a deep connection. Rather than connecting with his son, Grandpa connects with his grandson, Noah, who is Ted's child. Even though the reasons for the differences in connecting are valid, it's nonetheless, regretful and something that Grandpa feels a heavy burden. This serves as a reminder to fix regrets, rather than lugging them through life like a boulder.
DISLIKE- Way too short! And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer is labeled as a novella, but I think that's a stretch. It's a short story. I finished it in thirty minutes, which was excellent, as it is a story that should be read in a single sitting, however, novella; it is not.
RECOMMEND- Absolutely. And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer, is a must for Backman Fans ( if you haven't read Backman,go to the bookstore now!), but it's also an excellent story for anyone who has experienced loss or who is a caregiver. This is a compassionate and affecting story about the dying process.