And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer by Fredrick Backman: A Book Review

Imagine being told that your memory is failing you.  That you will live in body long after your mind has forgotten most of the details of your life.  Imagine the terror. . .and the sadness.

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Such is the premise of Fredrick Backman’s book, And Every Morning the Way Gets Longer and Longer.  This novella is only 76 pages long, but it packs a powerful punch.

Grandpa is sitting on a bench with his grandson, Noah, who he calls Noahnoah.  Grandpa still remembers things, but he knows his memory is fading.  Noah knows, too, and he is sometimes scared and sometimes eager to comfort his grandpa.

Grandpa describes his world, his memory, as a square.  Each day, the square gets smaller and smaller and he becomes more confused.  Grandpa sometimes talks to Grandma, who passed away before him.  He sometimes sees his grown son as a little boy.

This book is powerful because it gives a glimpse into what one might feel as their memory goes long before their body.  There are poignant reminders that we must appreciate every day and give the most we can to our loved ones.  You’ll never regret the time you spend with family.

At one point, grandpa is talking with grandma about how he never spent enough time with their son, Ted.  They have this exchange:

“You were a busy man,” she whispers, regret filling every word because she knows she bears the same guilt.

“And now Ted is a busy man,” he says.

“But the universe gave you both Noah.  He’s the bridge between you.  That’s why we get the chance to spoil our grandchildren, because by doing that we’re apologizing to our children.”

This is a quick read, but thought-provoking.

I give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars on the Mom’s Plans’ scale.

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