Ever since I read Fredrik Backman’s “A man called Ove“, I have been a fan. Since then, I’ve read two other novels of his and loved them both. Now, the author has written a new novella, and of course I was chomping at the bit with anticipation as soon as I heard about it.
I knew it was a bad? good? sign when my eyes started to well up just reading the prologue…. It was not written in a ‘sappy’ way, just in a way that you know was heartfelt by the author. Fredrik Backman has such a deep understanding of human nature, and such a unique, articulate and compelling way of sharing his thoughts that I believe he should be required reading for all. Too much? I think not!
This heart-rending little story showcases the emotional relationship between a father and his grown son, and, a grandfather and his grandson, Noah. In life nothing lasts forever. The grandfather is becoming increasingly forgetful which confuses and frightens the little grandson. Even his favorite joke, which he has told countless times before – he can no longer remember. He carries on conversations with his long dead wife with whom he loved above all else for over half a century. He misses her immeasurably and remembers that she loved hyacinths…
The grandfather has always loved everything to do with mathematics. Noah shares this love, but his son, Ted, has always been a man of words, not numbers. The grandfather and grandson have a game they play reciting the digits of pi.
Getting old is frightening, but losing your own treasured memories is the worst thing. Grandpa’s brain is dying before his body is…
Remembering that you’ve forgotten is the worst kind of forgetting
The father and son finally have found a bond in their mutual love of Noah. A little boy who is wise beyond his years – thanks to the wisdom imparted to him by his Grandpa.
Written with understanding and empathy, this beautiful novella reminds us to cherish the little things in life, because they truly are the big things.
Every time I read a work by Fredrik Backman, I invariably find myself thinking how lucky his children are to have such an understanding and loving person for a father.
This is a story of the anguish, confusion, and frustration of aging, of regret, but most of all, it is a story about love and letting go.
Fredrik Backman, a blogger and columnist, is the New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, and Britt-Marie was here. All three were number one bestsellers in his native Sweden and are being published around the world in more than twenty-five languages. He lives in Stockholm, Sweden with his wife and two children.