And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer
Title: And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer Author: Fredrik Backman Published: November 1st 2016 by Atria Books Format: eBook, Hardcover 96 pgs. Genre: Literary Fiction, General Fiction (Adult) Source: My thanks to Netgalley and Atria Books for an opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book.
This may be a short novella, but the impact is tremendous. Told through the eyes of his “numbers” grandpa, a little boy - Noah, who is more like his grandfather than his own “words” father Ted, learns the stories and fears of holding on to life’s most precious memories. How the square is getting smaller and smaller and how Grandpa’s family is both struggling to hold on to help him and to gently guide and let go at the same time.
The way home does not talk specifically about a place, but more of the comfort and memories that home entails. It is the people and the places. The stories and memories. The things that get lost over time and yet we try harder and harder to hold on to.
This is a story of compassion – surprising compassion from the most unlikely person. Sometimes we are too close to our own parents and it takes a grandchild to see through the blurred frustration that parents and children hold on to. The next generation is more open and willing to sit and listen to the stories and see both the hope and lament that is just below the surface.
As I said, this is a short novella that reads like a full-blown novel. Fredrik Backman is a master storyteller that knows just the right amounts to include without bogging down the reader with unnecessary drivel. The reader knows the amount of time that has passed and how the relationship between Noah and Grandpa has changed without going in depth with timekeeping and medical analyses. This book is not about a disease, it is about relationships, compassion, and wanting to spend as much time with a person that you love no matter what you are talking about or how many rocks you have to put under an anchor so you can always remember a child as a child.
I have underlined so much in this story that out of fear of quoting the whole book, I have not including any quotes. You will want to keep this novella close so you can read it frequently and I will guarantee that each time you do, you will get something different from the telling and take away a better understanding.