“The deal of a lifetime” by Fredrik Backman – Book Review

Fredrik Backman never disappoints, but he may pull at your heartstrings more than a little…

He begins the story in this way: “Does it make a difference if I killed a good person? A loved person? A valuable life? If it was a child?”

The novella features two cancer patients in hospital.  A five-year old girl, and a grown man with an adult son.

The little girl is stoic in the way that only sweet, innocent children can be.  The man faces his prognosis filled with reminiscences and regrets.

Helsingborg, Sweden

All his life he wanted to be a success. To make his mark upon the world – to leave a footprint behind.  He has done that… but at what cost?  He was never a real father to his son, spending next to no time with him and disappointing him time after time.

“Every parent will take five minutes in the car outside the house from time to time, just sitting there. Just breathing and gathering the strength to head back inside to all of their responsibilities. The suffocating expectation of being good, coping.”

He notices a woman with a grey cardigan carrying a folder with a black pencil.  He knows who SHE is. He has seen her before. When his parents died, when his best friend died… Now, she hovers in the corridor of the hospital.  Will she come for him next, or, will she come for the little girl?

The man makes a ‘deal‘ with the woman. What is the deal he makes? You’ll just have to read this charming story to find out…

This is a story about parenthood, about ‘doing the right thing’, about life and death, about love, and about the meaning of ‘home’.  Highly recommended!

Didactic fiction all wrapped up in a Christmas bow !

My request was declined to read and review this title from Atria Books via Edelweiss. However, my love of Fredrik Backman ensured that I purchased the novella anyway.  Money well spent!


Fredrik Backman is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels A Man Called OveMy Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, and Britt-Marie Was Here, as well as a novella, And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer. His books are being published around the world in more than thirty-five languages. He lives in Stockholm, Sweden, with his wife and two children.

About Fictionophile

Fiction reviewer ; Goodreads librarian. Retired library cataloger - more time to read! Loves books, gardening, and red wine. I have been a reviewer member of NetGalley since October 2013. I review titles offered by Edelweiss, and participate in blog tours with TLC Book Tours.
This entry was posted in Book Reviews, Christmas, Literary fiction, Novellas, novels in translation, Scandinavian and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to “The deal of a lifetime” by Fredrik Backman – Book Review

  1. Pingback: #BookRecommendations with titles that start with the letter ‘D’ #booklovers #bookbloggers #GreatReads | Fictionophile

  2. Ann Marie says:

    I haven’t read this one yet but I would read Fredrik Backman’s grocery lists. He can do no wrong in my eyes. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. madbooklove says:

    Wow. Just recently I became aware of this book, and I wasn’t sure when I would get to it. Now I’ll have to bump it up the TBR. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Having read and loved The Scandal I have promised myself some more from this wonderful author – this sounds like a touching and yet honest look at life – thanks for a fab review.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. skyecaitlin says:

    This is a lovely review, Lynne!
    I have not read his books, yet, but he is on my list.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. carhicks says:

    I also love his writing and have read all of his books so far. I will definitely have to go online and check this one out. Sounds wonderful. Great review.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Miss A says:

    From my home town Helsingborg! And I was lucky enough to spend four years with him in the same class. Proud ol’ classmate here!


  8. Emma says:

    There are a lot of novellas out at the moment it seems. I will definitely be checking this one out.


  9. Your review just convinced me to hold and try Backman’s works immediately! A Man Called Ove is a waiting book in my tbr, probably a good read next month and a great start for my 2018.

    Liked by 1 person

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