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And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer

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A little book with a big heart!

From 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 comes an exquisitely moving portrait of an elderly man’s struggle to hold on to his most precious memories, and his family’s efforts to care for him even as they must find a way to let go.

With all the same charm of his bestselling full-length novels, here Fredrik Backman once again reveals his unrivaled understanding of human nature and deep compassion for people in difficult circumstances. This is a tiny gem with a message you’ll treasure for a lifetime.

97 pages, Kindle Edition

First published August 24, 2015

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About the author

Fredrik Backman

33 books62.7k followers
Fredrik Backman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove (soon to be a major motion picture starring Tom Hanks), My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, Britt-Marie Was Here, Beartown, Us Against You, as well as two novellas, And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer and The Deal of a Lifetime. Things My Son Needs to Know About the World, his first work of non-fiction, will be released in the US in May 2019. His books are published in more than forty countries. He lives in Stockholm, Sweden, with his wife and two children. Connect with him on Twitter @BackmanLand or on Instagram @backmansk.

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5 stars
39,366 (51%)
4 stars
25,836 (33%)
3 stars
9,838 (12%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 12,906 reviews
Profile Image for Angela M .
1,286 reviews2,205 followers
October 30, 2016

I'm finding it difficult to know what else to say besides what a beautiful, beautiful story , so full of love and life , even in the wake of loss . What it's about is best described by Backman himself in his letter to the reader at the beginning.

"This is a story about memories and about letting go. It's a love letter and a slow farewell between a man and his grandson, and between a dad and his boy. I never meant for you to read it, to be quite honest. I wrote it just because I was trying to sort out my own thoughts, and I'm the kind of person who needs to see what I'm thinking on paper to make sense of it. But it turned into a small tale of how I'm dealing slowly with losing the greatest minds I know , about missing someone who is still here, and how I wanted to explain it to my children. I'm letting it go for now, for what it's worth."

I thought maybe I'd leave this review by just saying so very beautiful because I'm afraid that I won't do it justice with cliche , but I woke up thinking about this story and I'm so affected by it that I'm compelled to say something more. What a striking, breathtaking relationship between an aging, senile grandfather and his young grandson we see here! Backman never ceases to amaze me with his understanding of the elderly characters he gives us - Ove in A Man Called Ove and Elsa's grandmother in My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry . The empathy, the caring way he presents them - where does it come from ? In that opening letter to his readers we learn that it came from deep within, a place where this story reached me . Not much more I can say , except to say again- so very beautiful. One of my favorites of 2016 .

I received an ARC of this book from Atria Books through NetGalley.
Profile Image for Lisa of Troy.
402 reviews3,496 followers
February 25, 2023
Not What I Was Expecting

And Every Morning The Way Home Gets Longer and Longer is a short story about a grandfather, son, and grandson where the grandfather is battling dementia and approaching death. The grandfather has suffered losses in his life and has regrets but also has so many beautiful, exquisite memories.

After reading A Man Called Ove and Anxious People, two of the funniest books ever written, I was expecting a few jokes. However, this short story is extremely serious and sad. Of course, it was quite moving and a great reminder to make time and space to create beautiful memories. This short story is definitely worthy of a read but grab the tissue box!

This short story changed my life. I asked my friends about their favorite memories: going to the park, getting a hug, when my partner smiles and covers his mouth hoping that I don’t know that he is smiling but he definitely is, and running a mile together. None of these things cost any money. Sometimes simply playing a board game is enough to create a memory. Personally, I am terrible at games so I like to make up new rules. When I play Twister, I might lift the board or lean a bit on my opponent. When I was playing a game involving putting rings on a plastic palm tree, I got out a fishing pole to guide the rings onto the palm fronds. Too often, I have gotten into the routine of life, busy, and this short story was a great reminder to make room for fun.

2023 Reading Schedule
Jan Alice in Wonderland
Feb Notes from a Small Island
Mar Cloud Atlas
Apr On the Road
May The Color Purple
Jun Bleak House
Jul Bridget Jones’s Diary
Aug Anna Karenina
Sep The Secret History
Oct Brave New World
Nov A Confederacy of Dunces
Dec The Count of Monte Cristo

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Profile Image for oyshik.
210 reviews664 followers
July 20, 2021
And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer by Fredrik Backman

A beautiful and poignant novella. A story that will tug at your heart and make you realize perfectly what can happen when you get older, and what may happen with your mind, and how it affects your family as well as yourself. The author explained the shock, grief, joy, and love of both living and leaving by the generations in a most beautiful and expressive way. It is a story of compassion, strength in family ties, and will remind many people of what is happening in their own family.
That's why we get the chance to spoil our grandchildren, because by doing that we're apologizing to our children.

Sadly sweet.
Profile Image for Jen CAN.
486 reviews1,357 followers
February 13, 2017
This one left me speechless as it hit too close to home. It's the story of how to say good-bye to someone you are losing to Alzheimer's.
It's the story of a grandpa and grandson - and their shared love of mathematics and how grandpa tries to define what is happening to him while wrestling with the fear of memories beginning to fade.
My own father was diagnosed with it 2 years ago. It has been difficult to watch the progression of the disease as his recognition of me has gone from hi how are you and a laugh, to a wave and a smile, to eyebrows lifting as if to say, hey, I know you! to a vacant look - so far from the man he once was.
This is that story and the transition as the disease moves forward and what it takes is devastating. From not knowing where you are to not knowing who you are and the people you once loved. It's about holding on to memories - for both victims of the disease- and keeping alive the memories of who that person was before this thief of a disease arrived. And missing them tremendously.

Backman, you have redeemed yourself with this one. You've taken me on a journey I didn't want to go on but one I could relate so much to.
Profile Image for MarilynW.
1,111 reviews2,798 followers
September 26, 2022
And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer by Fredrik Backman (Author), David Morse (Narrator)

This novella broke my heart in pieces for all the people suffering from dementia and their families. There are no words that can fix such a situation, nothing to stop the loss of memories or mind and no way the family can put the brakes on what they know is happening to their loved one. Backman made this so real that it hurt. I can only hope and wish that everyone might have a family like the family in this story, a family willing to be there for their person who is leaving them, not in body but in mind. To understand, accept (because there is nothing else that can be done), to just love. The story put me right into the mind of the grandfather and it was such a bewildering place. The saving grace is to know he is surrounded by the people who love and cherish him the most. 

Pub November 1, 2016
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,463 reviews9,619 followers
February 7, 2017

There's a hospital room at the end of a life where someone, right in the middle of the floor, has pitched a green tent. A person wakes up inside it, breathless and afraid, not knowing where he is. A young man sitting next to him whispers:

"Don't be scared."


This is such a sad little story but with BIG heart. And the sad thing is that these things are true. So many people have went through this with family members. My grandma is forgetting things. Life isn't fair.

The little boy Noah is a wonderful child and adult if I read it correctly. He was there for his grandma when she went and he was always there for his grandpa. No matter what was went through with my grandparents or the last grandparent I have left, I feel so lucky to be one of the people to have known and grown up with my grandparents. Being southern we call them, mamaw and papaw. They were my life and they were wonderful and one still is.

I love Noah so much, his character is just so special.

"The amount I love you, Noah," she would tell him with her lips to his ear after she read fairy tales about elves and he was just about to fall asleep, "the sky will never be that big." She wasn't perfect, but she was his. The boy sang to her the night before she died. Her body stopped working before her brain did. For Grandpa it's the opposite.

*sob* I just ....

This is a short novella but it has such an impact. It tells of Noah and his grandpa sitting on that bench with grandma's favorite purple hyacinth's blooming underneath. It tells of grandpa confusing his son Ted with his grandson Noah. It tells of grandpa's memories with grandma. It tells with such emotion and heart that I felt every word said, every scared emotion, every tear I dropped.

Thank you for such a wonderful book about things that are very real. ♥

MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List
Profile Image for Julie .
4,027 reviews58.9k followers
April 24, 2020
And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer by Fredrik Backman is a 2016 Atria Books publication.

Beautifully written, heartrending novella-

It’s an awful thing to miss someone who’s still here.

How to say goodbye when your mind wears out before your body does? Grandpa feels an urgency to explain things to his beloved grandson, but is finding it to be a difficult, bittersweet task.

Yet, wiser than his years, the grandson understands, and patiently, though at times fearful, helps his grandfather through the hazy memories of a life filled with great love and sad regrets.

Isn’t that the best time of all life’s ages, and old man thinks as he looks at his grandchild. When a boy is just big enough to know how the world works, but still young enough to refuse to accept it.

I have had this on my ‘wish list’ at the library for a couple of years. Yes, years! While I could have put the book on a hold, the wait time was so long, I decided to put other books, with a shorter wait time on hold first, which left this treasure languishing on my list for far too long.

To my delight, this past weekend, while I was cleaning up my wish list, I noticed this book was ‘available now’. I checked it out right on the spot, because, I was afraid if I didn’t, I’d miss my chance.

However, it did cross my mind that, under the circumstances, with all the grief everyone is trying to cope with right now, emotionally speaking, this might not be the best time to read this story- because let’s face it- it is a very sad little book.

However, there is so much life, humor, warmth, and a whole lot of heart packed into this short story- and it is a story that resonates no matter where you are in life or what challenges you are facing.

I would rather be old than a grown-up. All grown-ups are angry, it’s just children and old people who laugh

There is also a lot of wisdom in these pages- although, at times these messages are overpowered by the strong emotions pulling at you, about life, memories, and love.

So read this one slowly, let all the nuances develop and prepare yourself mentally for the heartbreak, but also be ready to accept, honor and keep the magic that exist here too.

The writing is simply gorgeous, and so full of heartfelt emotions, I can’t fathom anyone making it to the end of this story with dry eyes….

5 stars
Profile Image for Petrik.
674 reviews42.8k followers
February 8, 2023
And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer is the first book by Fredrik Backman that I read, and it certainly won't be the last.

“The only time you've failed is if you don't try once more.”

Despite being a dominant fantasy and sci-fi reader, the name Fredrik Backman is not unfamiliar to me. His works such as A Man Called Ove, Beartown, and more are often seen or recommended to me. I have watched the Swedish movie adaptation of A Man Called Ove, but prior to this little novella, I haven't read anything by him yet. Thanks to my friend, AdiRaven, who gave and insisted me a copy of this novella. Without him, I don't think I would end up reading this short, bittersweet, and impactful novella. Not this soon. And I'm glad I did.

“Almost all grown adults walk around full of regret over a good-bye they wish they’d been able to go back and say better.”

Memory, love, time, life, loss, and friendship; we, humans, are odd beings. We are creatures that know the importance of these irreplaceable invisible precious and their importance. But we are also the ones who constantly tarnish them. We are always in need of endless reminders to treasure the things we have right now. Sometimes, we forget that an ordinary life well lived is an extraordinary life. And this book is a great reminder. Alzheimer's disease is shit. It is an awful thing to miss someone who is right there in front of you. Some would argue it is even worse than death. And it is once again a reminder to always treasure what you have. Savor everything that is good.

“Those who hasten to live are in a hurry to miss”

And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer is a wonderful short novella that is heartwarming, emotional, and powerful. It took me about an hour to read, and the translation by Alice Menzies was well done. Plus, the small illustrations by Ella Laytham in the hardcover edition added an extra cozy feeling and vibe to the novella. I think the existence of a book like this is important. If you haven't read it yet, I highly recommend you to read it, especially when you are in need of a short and emotional read. My next Fredrik Backman book will be his most popular one, A Man Called Ove, and I am excited to get to it.

“I only had you for the blink of an eye,” he says.
She laughs. “You had me an entire lifetime. All of mine.”
“That wasn’t enough.”

You can order this book from: Blackwells (Free International shipping)

You can find the rest of my reviews at Novel Notions | I also have a Booktube channel

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Profile Image for Cheri.
1,742 reviews2,268 followers
November 10, 2016

Some books should come with instructions, this is one of them. Here's my instructions to you: Plan on crying. Have tissues handy.

Fredrik Backman has done it again. I usually stay away from people who intentionally make me cry, but Backman pulls me back over and over again. If he released a new book tomorrow, I’d likely read it tomorrow. He brings me people who make me smile, and laugh, and whom I cherish even if I can’t call them on the phone. And yes, sometimes they make me cry.

At 96 pages “And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer: A Novella” is a short, over-too-quickly read, but he packs this novella with so much love and tenderness. Memories are something we treasure, they link us to our most fond moments in our lives, to the ones we love, to those magical moments: weddings, births, graduations. The first moment you saw the person who turned out to be the one. So many moments that live only in our memories, there are no photos to remind us, no trinkets to transport us back to that moment in time, memories of those we loved but who have left this world, we treasure them all.

Grandparents. Grandchildren. The special bond they have, with none of the rules associated with your parents, none of the burden of knowing you failed to be the child they wanted you to be. The special role they have in a child’s life, the things they learn – from one another.

This novella has a message worth reading and remembering.
Profile Image for Katie Colson.
649 reviews5,814 followers
February 14, 2022
December 2021:
Why am I putting myself through this again a month later? I must be a masochist.
The first time I read it physically. This time I listened to the audio. Both are 5 star favorites. The narration of the grandpa was so sweet and realistic. I sobbed just as hard as the first time.
This book cleared out my sinuses in a big way.

November 2021:
When I tell you I was SNOTTING.
Fredrick Bachman saw I was low and came in with the round house kick. He had no mercy.
Profile Image for Reading_ Tamishly.
4,292 reviews2,286 followers
April 30, 2023
I totally love the writing!
This is the first book by the author that I have actually finished up reading.
I tried reading his most popular book...yes, that one but I was just not getting into it.
This book deals with old age dementia and is chiefly composed of day to day dialogues between the old man and his grandson, Noah; between him and his son, Ted.

I loved the illustrations!
Tiny, yet heart-wrenching colourful!

I have got some of the most unforgettable quotes from this read:

'The amount I love you the sky will never be that big.'

'Almost all grown adults walk around full of regret over a goodbye they wish they'd been able to go back and say it better.'

'My memories are running away from me, my love, like when you try to separate oil and water. I'm constantly reading a book with a missing page, and it's always the most important one.'

'It hurts less and less. That's one good thing about forgetting things. You forget the things that hurt too.'

'Not everyone knows that water and sunshine have scents, but they do, you just have to get far enough away from all other smells to realise it. Lakes and thoughts have that in common, they take time.'

'We lived an extraordinary ordinary life.'
'An ordinarily extraordinary life'

''Promise me something, one very last thing: once your goodbye is perfect, you have to leave me and not look back. Live your life. It's an awful thing to miss someone who's still here.''

''It's a big universe to be angry at but a long life to have company in.''

I cannot describe how this novella has given me much to think about life.
It's nostalgic.
It's sadly funny at times.
It's about saying goodbyes
But it's never about leaving forever.
Profile Image for Larry.
76 reviews8,773 followers
February 7, 2021
I’ve become a big fan of Backman’s, and this novella didn’t disappoint. A touching, multi-generational story of preparing for and dealing with the death of loved ones. Excellent, excellent.
Profile Image for Larry H.
2,484 reviews29.4k followers
November 3, 2016
It's ironic that mathematics figures into the plot of this book (but you shouldn't let that scare you), because I thought about approaching this review as a mathematical proof. Given that Larry is a total sap, prove that this utterly exquisite novella will leave him an emotional wreck. Done and done.

"Noah holds the old man's hand, the man who taught him to fish and to never be afraid of big thoughts and to look at the night's sky and understand that it's made of numbers. Mathematics has blessed the boy in that sense, because he's no longer afraid of the thing almost everyone else is terrified of: infinity. Noah loves space because it never ends. It never dies. It's the one thing in his life which won't ever leave him."

On its surface, this seems like a very simple story about the special relationship between a boy and his grandfather, the many interests and loves they shared, and how much the latter learns from the former, as well as vice-versa. But as you delve deeper, and read Fredrik Backman's almost-poetic dialogue and see his imagery in your head, you realize this book deals with the fear that comes from memory loss; the everlasting nature of love; how palpable regret can be and while it may actually be easy to make amends, how hard doing something easy can be; and the sadness of having to say goodbye to loved ones.

The beauty of this story is letting it unfold without knowing too much, so I don't want to say anything more about the plot. I felt that this was so special because it demonstrates that you can find courage in the midst of fear, and that, clichéd as it might sound, love—both romantic and familial—can be enough to help you through the hard times.

My paternal grandmother was probably one of my most favorite people ever, and I know that I was her favorite. We called her our "playing grandma," because even in her 70s, she would be on the floor playing with my siblings and I, taking us to New York City museums, even climbing up steps in the Statue of Liberty. No matter what I did, she was always as proud as if I had scored the winning goal, won the Nobel Prize, and made millions of dollars all at the same time. She died 12 years ago at the age of 93, although we began losing her to dementia about three years earlier. To this day, I miss her more than words can say, so this book was one that made me smile through my tears, made me grateful to have had her as such a part of my life for so long.

I have read some absolutely fantastic books this year, many of which continue to stay with me long after I've finished with them. I've no doubt that this story of Noahnoah and his grandfather will be one of those, and I hope it is for you as well.

NetGalley and Atria Books provided me an advance copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review. Thanks for making this available!

See all of my reviews at http://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blo....
Profile Image for Elyse Walters.
4,006 reviews36k followers
October 19, 2016
Sunshine and lollipops --
......My God... as absolutely beautiful that this novella is, filled with insights and inspiration.... I thought "It's possible, this is going to be the first Backman book where I'm not going to cry". WRONG! Maybe a few readers will have teary-eye.
Me... I want to 'gush' at the end. 'Something' hit a nerve.

Fredrik Backman's writing is such a HUGE GIFT to many!!! He is to me. Sometimes, I fall hard - 'feel' deeply.
Maybe it's the mood I started with - or maybe feelings came to the surface that have been sitting dormant.....but I still want to cry. I just do - so sue me!

I loved this little literary gem! I'm a HUGE FAN of Fredrik Backman! I'm so happy we have an author like him writing today.

Since the blurb itself says enough to inspire a choice-to-read .... ( but oh, there are gorgeous sentences filled with wisdom one after another)....
I've picked an excerpt which I'll end with, that made me smile and smile...

[First, I really do appreciate Fredrik Backman!!!! Thank you to Netgalley and Atria Publishing for the gift of reading this book]

"Tell me about school,
Noahnoah," the old man says.
He always wants to know everything about school, but not like other adults, who only want to know if Noah is behaving. Grandpa wants to know if school is behaving.
It hardly ever is.
"Our teacher made us write a story about what we want to be when we are big," Noah tells him.
"What did you write?"
"I wrote that I wanted to concentrate on being little first".
"That's a very good answer".
"Isn't it? I would rather be old than a grown-up. All grown-ups are angry, it's just children and old people who laugh".
"Did you write that?"
"What did your teacher say?"
"She said I hadn't understood the task".
"And what did you say?"
"I said she hadn't understood my answer".

Loved it!!!!
Profile Image for Swrp.
663 reviews
December 27, 2021
"I would rather be old than a grown-up. All grown-ups are angry, it's just children and old people who laugh."

Memories are precious, they will guide you like a star when you are lost. But what happens, when you are lost and you cannot bring back the memories!?

It doesn't matter who you are (and before becoming a "critic" of this book like the others), remember every one of us is going to be "lost", sooner or later.

Fredrik Backman's And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer: A Novella is about finding strength and standing by a loved one when they are lost. This book is painful and beautiful, at the very same time.

This is a story about memories and about letting go. It's a love letter and a slow farewell between a man and his grandson, and between a dad and his boy."
Profile Image for emma.
1,825 reviews48.3k followers
February 18, 2020
Nobody read this review.

I’m serious. Look away right now. This review is for my and possibly Fredrik Backman’s eyes ONLY. Or, like, Rihanna, if she so chooses, but only because I could never say no to Rihanna. She has the face of an angel.

But everyone who ISN’T the single most beautiful living person or a charming Scandinavian author, NAVIGATE AWAY RIGHT NOW.


Now that everyone is gone…


It turns out I have feelings after all.

This was way too short (hence why I read it at the end of the year when I was behind on my reading challenge).

Actually it’s so short that reviewing it feels weird - like if I write a couple more paragraphs my word count will probably exceed the text, although that likely wouldn’t be the first time #longwinded - but nobody besides possibly Riri or Fred is reading anyway, so.

Even though this was jarringly brief, it was still so pretty and lovely and...SAD.

I want to go back to being a robot please.

Bottom line: Small and breathtaking, like one of the two people potentially reading this review.

(I don’t actually know if Rihanna is short.)



review to come / 4 stars


we're approaching the end of the year, so you know what that means: reading tiny books so i can finish my reading challenge
Profile Image for Debbie.
441 reviews2,785 followers
December 18, 2017

Woe is the reader who isn’t weeping! That’s me. My tear ducts were dry as the Mojave Desert. I feel like a weirdo because so many people reviewing this book said they sobbed uncontrollably. I have to remind myself that some books DO make me cry; this is just not one of them. And this novella IS very sad, as we listen to a brilliant and loved man who has Alzheimer’s talk to his grandson, Noah. But—and I really sound cold-hearted here, I know—for me I think my saddest moment was realizing that I had to round down instead of up. (Did I just admit that???)

Oh this book is really good, and I am serious here, believe it or not. Rich, poetic language, huge emotional connections between the characters, and very wise sentences. I have to give you a few examples so you can see the beauty for yourself:

“Falling in love with her meant having no room in his own body.”

“All grown-ups are angry, it’s just children and old people who laugh.”

“When your feet touch the ground, I’ll be in space, my dear Noahnoah.”

“You never became ordinary to me, my love. You were electric shocks and fire.”

“'Does it hurt on the inside?’ [asks Noah]
‘It hurts less and less. That’s one good thing about forgetting things. You forget the things that hurt too.’”

The relationship between Noah and grandpa is so tender, and they have all these cool shared memories—stories and jokes that grandson Noah will remember forever, even though, sadly, his grandfather will not. I found it so so endearing that grandpa called his son Noahnoah (“because he likes his grandson’s name twice as much as everyone else’s”). It added a sing-song rhythm that was very soothing and wistful.

So what’s my problem? Why am I giving this one just 3 stars? I was confused, folks, I was confused!! And my editor self says it’s because there is a point-of-view problem: I often couldn’t tell whether we were hearing the story from the grandfather’s, Noah’s, or even Noah’s dad’s point of view.

And sometimes with that came a pronoun problem as well:

“'You need to sit down, Dad, you’re bleeding,’ the son begs.
He has a beard; it bristles beneath the dad’s palm when he touches the boy’s cheek.”

I reread that sentence about a dozen times, and I’m still unsure who is who. Are there two people in the scene, or three (grandpa, his son, and his grandson)? Who has the beard? Whose cheek is it? I feel like I’m trying to solve a word twister, and I’m failing miserably. And then because I don’t get it, I feel dumb, which is not good for a reader’s ego, I’ll tell you that. I remind myself that the story has been translated, so it’s very possible that it’s a translation problem. Still, not a good experience here.

And for me it even starts out confusing. What is the setting? There’s a hospital room, with a green tent pitched on the floor, with a young man sitting next to grandpa. I’m assuming that the tent is only in the imagination of the grandpa and probably the young man there is his son, not his grandson? Then in the next paragraph, the grandpa and grandson Noah are on a bench, which is surrounded by items from the past, like a desk and a calculator. Is this scene in the present, and also just in grandpa’s mind? Is this a conglomerate of memories? Then there’s a lake, where they have been in a boat and where grandpa has hit his head. I’m trying to figure out if the story is all taking place on the bench, at the lake, or in the hospital room (where there’s an imaginary tent).

I’m thinking (sometimes with confidence, sometimes not) that we’re supposed to just imagine these physical changes in location while we remain in grandpa’s head, but that’s hard for me.

This statement threw me for one of many loops:

“'We’re in my brain, Noahnoah. And it got smaller overnight again,’ grandpa says.”

I tried to just leave it at that (all is in grandpa’s head) but it hurt MY head. Oh, I tried to just go with the flow, I really did. But the structure of the story just wasn’t working for me. And if it’s true that it’s all in grandpa’s head, the inclusion of quotes from Noah just didn’t work for me. Some of the time it seemed like the story is being told from Noah’s point of view, rooted in reality, as he talks to grandpa and realizes his grandpa is slipping away. Point-of-view problem for me, point-of-view. Like I said, I tried really really hard to just read and not analyze whether it made sense, but that’s a hard task for an editor. And as for the lack of tears: It’s hard to cry when you’re hard at work!

I remember having this problem with another book about a character with Alzheimer’s. I’ve concluded that it’s really tricky to write from the point of view of a person who has this disease. The author has to assume what the character is thinking, which is impossible in itself. And then for the reader, there’s the problem of trying to figure out what is truly happening in the here and now versus what is memory, or what is memory mixed with fantasy. And with this book and with the other, it seems like the author didn’t make the thoughts of the demented person fragmented enough. I understand that writing it as a story necessitates putting a structure to the sentences. But wouldn’t the mind of a demented person be totally unstructured, maybe just a hodge-podge of images of people and places and objects? Surely not sentences with punctuation and eloquent quotations.

The other problem for me is that I just couldn’t relate. I was not close to my parents or my grandparents, so this wonderful bond they had wasn’t in the least familiar or cathartic. And I think only because I couldn’t relate, at times it seemed a little sappy. If a parent or grandparent I was close to had had Alzheimer’s, I think it would have been waterworks city.

Joy Jar (summary):

-Wonderful, poetic language, complete with great terms of endearment.

-Wisdom about love, life, memory, fear, and death.

-Great depiction of love between grandfather and grandson.

-Offers a peek into what it must feel like for a person who has Alzheimer’s and for the family as well—the fear and love of it all.

-Love that the story is autobiographical, and that the author had such a wonderful relationship with his grandfather.

Complaint Board (summary):

-Help! What is reality and what is memory?

-Seemed to change point-of-view (and setting) without warning or clarity, which confused me and took me out of the story while I tried to figure it out.

-Who IS this he? Exactly which he are we talking about? Are there two or three guys in some scenes? Too many pronouns! The abundance of pronouns took me out of the story as I scrambled to figure out who’s who, all the while damming the tears that might have been tempted to flow.

-I couldn’t relate to the close relationships between a child and a grandparent (my problem, of course, not the book’s).

One last thing (although I had planned to have a short review since this novella is short, yeah, right)—I was one of the very few people who didn’t like A Man Called Ove. Don’t even get me started on how I’ve had to weather a bunch of nastiness from trolls who attacked me personally just because I didn’t like the book. A friend mentioned she was shocked that I would try this author again. Good point! Well the truth is, I received this book as a gift on the Kindle, and I started reading it without even glancing at the author’s name. There’s a wonderful, heartfelt author’s note at the beginning, and at the end of it he signed his name. Besides being moved by his love of his grandfather, I also gave him big points when he said “I never meant for you to read it, to be quite honest.” But still I screamed inside, “What? This book is by Backman?!” I was scared, I tell you, but I was so touched by his words that I decided to proceed and to stop being mad that this is the very same man who had created Ove.

I would recommend this book, especially if you’ve had a loved one with Alzheimer’s. The language is beautiful and the emotion is palpable. As for me: I’ve decided to stay away from first-person stories told by a person with Alzheimer’s—just too confusing and frustrating. But I won’t necessarily stay away from Backman any more. In fact, I think I might try Beartown now, because I’m told it’s great and not like A Man Called Ove in the slightest.
Profile Image for Carolyn Marie  Castagna.
274 reviews5,771 followers
October 29, 2022
*another re-read*

You know when people ask, “If your house was on fire, what would you grab?”
For me, one of them would be this book.


"Isn’t that the best of all life’s ages, an old man thinks as he looks at his grandchild. When a boy is just big enough to know how the world works but still young enough to refuse to accept it."

This is a story that holds a very dear place in my heart! It's following a father/grandfather who is loosing his memory, and how he and his family are dealing with this loss.
My family and I have had a very similar experience as well, which is why this book means the world to me. It brings me an incredible amount of comfort and also a bit of bittersweet heartbreak.

I also worked at a nursing home during my last year of highschool and two years into college. I was in a dementia unit, so I dealt with memory loss everyday. It's a very difficult part of life, but books like this one make it much easier to bear.

I can't recommend this book enough, especially if you've dealt with a similar situation! Although, I will say, it's a very emotional read! I'd recommend reading it with the knowledge that it will make you feel very deeply and possibly cry!

Some of my favorite books are the ones that make me feel the deepest and cry the hardest!
Profile Image for Diane S ☔.
4,736 reviews14.1k followers
October 26, 2016
Absolutely beautiful and emotionally stunning. An old man, loosing his most precious memories, his grandson Noah, Noah and his son Ted, sitting on a park bench trying to connect, showing their love for this man who is grandfather, father. The words, phrases, thoughts, so incredibly poignant, wrap themselves around your heart. How do you explain what is happening to a young boy, how does a son help a father with something out of both their control? You talk, you remind, and you travel along with him. The memories, the fear, and a shared love. One would have to have a heart of stone to not be touched by this novella, especially when you read the author's comments at the front of the book.

ARC from Netgalley.
Profile Image for Drey.
167 reviews808 followers
May 2, 2021
This is a short story about a grandpa and his grandson reminiscing memories and learning to say goodbye. This is more powerful than most of the books I've ever read. I spent a little time reading it, and I cried, but I got something precious out of it that I'll forever treasure.

"The worst part about growing old is that I don’t get any ideas anymore.”

Profile Image for Sharon Orlopp.
Author 1 book368 followers
March 30, 2023
Bring the Kleenex! 5+++ stars for Fredrik Backman's novella, And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer. I listened to it on audiobook and David Morse does a fabulous job as narrator.

It is a poignant, memorable tale of a grandson and his grandfather as the grandfather wrestles with Alzheimers. The grandpa says that his memories are running away. The grandpa calls his grandson Noah Noah because he likes his name twice as much.

The grandfather loves mathematics and says that mathematics will always lead you home. The grandson loves mathematics but his father loves writing. Grandpa really probes Noah on how school is going because the grandpa wants to make sure the teachers and the school are doing their job. Noah feels that when other adults ask him about school it's because they want to make sure Noah is behaving.

It is an incredibly special story about the bond between a grandfather and his grandson.

Highly recommend!

Profile Image for Althea ☾.
623 reviews1,952 followers
January 18, 2021

AHHHH. It's just so well done on every level and I just really think he achieved what he wanted to do with this book. I mean... my eyes are still puffy from crying. Someone said this book gives them UP (the disney movie) vibes, and honestly, I agree.

“That’s why we get the chance to spoil our grandchildren, because by doing that we’re apologizing to our children.”

The way it’s written just makes you so absorbed and it just resonated deep within me because I have a weakness for memories and/or people losing them. This story is essentially about this grandpa that has alzheimer's and his grandson.

The themes are so heartachingly real and executed to perfection. You know what Backman books, to me, essentially talk about just living your life. Including the joys and tragedies within them. Because life is long until it isn't but the best thing you can do is cherish it with the people that mean the most to you. Each book he releases I feel puts more emphasis and layers to that overall subject AND WE ARE WEAK FOR IT.

"One of them is getting bigger and one of them is getting smaller, the years allow them to meet in the middle."

I understand if this kind of story is just something that does not resonate with you… BUT IT DID FOR ME and that’s what matters because I am still emotional. I went crazy with the annotations because I just could not get over how close this story felt to the author and in turn, me.

The writing. Please. *chef's kiss*

If you want a winding plot, I want to say that you won’t get that here because it’s too short but Fredrik Backman still manages to make it happen even though this book is less than 100 pages. I was overflowing with nostalgia and emotions that I wouldn’t be surprised if you end up wanting to run to your own parents at no matter what age. But I mean at the end of the day:

“Live your life. It’s an awful thing to miss someone who’s still here.”

↣ I really don't know what to say I mean.... read this if you want a heartfelt, endearing, nostalgic, and quick read. Especially one that focuses a lot on family. And it's all tied together so beautifully, what more could you want.

Profile Image for Susanne.
1,159 reviews36.8k followers
May 3, 2017
Fredrik Backman: You brought me to my knees. This novella had me sobbing, smiling, laughing and in bewildered awe of the beautiful words that you are able to write so melodically on a page. You capture emotion between characters so exquisitely.

In this incredible novella, Grandpa and Noahnoah (his grandson) have a very special relationship. They understand each other perfectly. It is this perfect relationship, that makes Grandpa's plight harder and harder each day. Harder because at first, Grandpa doesn't know how to explain what is wrong with him, and then has trouble remembering it. Noahnoah loves his Grandpa more than anything. And he will do whatever it takes to help his Grandpa remember everything he can about his life, including reminding him about the love of his life, and what its like to fall in love (which took my breath away and left me an emotional wreck).

To say that this story is special is an understatement. Fredrik Backman, is in my opinion, the most gifted author I have come across in years. I have loved all of his books desperately and hold each one very close to my heart. Each character is a delight in and of itself.

In this novella, "And Every Morning The Way Home Gets Longer and Longer" I found Grandpa and Noahnoah to be truly unique. Noahnoah is so very bright, gifted and special. Grandpa's love and affection for his wife makes me wish and hope that someday, I will lucky enough to find something that even closely resembles that.

To think that Fredrik Backman wrote this to help cope with a real life situation. First, I am so sorry; and second, thank you for sharing this amazing story. It touched me in ways I can't even begin to describe.

Thank you to NetGalley, Atria Books and Fredrik Backman for an ARC of this incredibly beautiful novella in exchange for an honest review. It was my honor and privilege to read and review it.

Published on NetGalley, Amazon and Goodreads on 11/4/16.
Profile Image for Carol.
1,370 reviews2,136 followers
October 24, 2016
Without a doubt.....A 2016 SUPER FAVORITE!

I just don't know what to say.......except that I loved every expressive word of love, and every shared memory in this beautifully written novella.

When Fredrik Backman writes, he really knows how to bring the characters to life and make the reader feel their emotions like they were your own.

I just want to send a balloon way up into the sky.......

Don't miss this one, and keep the tissues handy!

(Thank you NetGalley and Atria Books for the ARC!)

Profile Image for Mrinmayi.
155 reviews575 followers
July 25, 2020
There is only one Gif that could imagine my emotions regarding this book

If you have seen TAARE ZAMEEN PAR then you would know the above scene
It is so heartbreaking that I cry every single time I see it

That's how I felt while reading this book
I wasn't just crying...I was sobbing
Like I nearly cried myself to sleep
But this crying felt good...I know it sounds weird but let me explain
When some books make you cry ......there is this uneasy feeling
So not only do they make you cry ...the sole purpose of the book feels like it was made to hurt you
But there are some books that do make you cry BUT it's a bittersweet experience
You KNOW THAT ending was necessary
The tears are worth the book...You getting hurt is worth the experience
This book was worth every tear of mine
This deals with grief in such a beautiful way that you experience it with the characters
You connect with the characters, feel for them & grieve with them

Also, this book hit too close to home ...
Personally I read many books deal with Grief BUT the theme of losing one's Grandparents was never done so beautifully
While many other books which dealt with Grandparents' death.....Let's just say it was not dealt with properly
But the thing is it hurts the same way when you loose another of your loved one
And Fredrick did an awesome job portraying the emotions while showing us the bonding between the Grandfather & the Grandson
I would get so emotional while reading a particular paragraph that I had to stop reading many times

The writing was beautiful, the characters were AMAZING, the relationship dynamic was spot on
This is a very short book...I completed it in one sitting BUT it makes you feel every emotion
Highly recommend this book:)

P.S.: I never thought I would cry over coriander..( I hate coriander)
But this book made me cry over it
The Grandma hated coriander too...
And the way those two(the Grandpa & grandma) had a banter going on because of it made me tear up
I know it is a small thing BUt it was so adorable that I cried happy tears..

P.P.S.: If you haven't watched the movie "Taare Zameen PAR"...I highly recommend that movie
If there is a Bollywood movie I could watch...it would be that
It's heartwarming
Also, it's available on Netflix!!
So enjoy..

I hope this review did not make you sad
Also, I apologize if I sounded like a cry baby
I really wish I could make a meme to make you feel better...BUT I am really not feeling it
Happy reading:)

When If I am a crying mess by the end of this book.....BE THERE FOR ME!!!
I have prepared myself to read this book!!!
1)Pep talk✅
2)Dark Chocolate✅✅
3)Back up "feel good" book✅
3)Prepare the bed & make it cozy for easier crying✅
4)Back up Ghibli movie✅
5)Wolf board on pinterest✅✅✅

Profile Image for da AL.
366 reviews366 followers
January 8, 2018
To be honest, I was afraid this was going to be smarmy, but it redeemed itself by the end. The audio reader does a stunning job. Why isn't he credited anywhere on the box or the cds?!
Profile Image for Christine on hiatus, see “About me”.
589 reviews1,138 followers
November 6, 2016
The little novella packs a powerful punch. This is one that will not be forgotten. Grandpa is in the throes of losing his memory, and each day he loses a little more. He is aware this is happening; it scares him. He shares his thoughts with his grandson, Noah, with whom he shares an unbreakable bond.

This less than one hour read delivers a treasure trove of beautifully drawn themes to the reader. In a most poignant manner it addresses the fear of not only growing old, but of losing precious memories held most dear and letting go. We also see what is truly important in life, the power of love and family, the consuming nature of regrets, and the emotional desire for there to be a heaven even when the scientific mind says there is not. The story made me smile, brought me to tears, led me to think, and most importantly, it made me FEEL. This tiny novella stirred up more emotion in me than almost anything else I have read in the last year.

The author originally wrote this tale for himself; it was not going to be published. Thankfully, he eventually decided to share it with the world. This is a piece that everyone should read. Most highly recommended.

Thank you to Net Galley and Simon and Schuster for an ARC of this novella. The opinions expressed in the review are totally mine.
Profile Image for j e w e l s.
309 reviews2,370 followers
December 12, 2018

A short (under 1 hour) story that I listened to while cooking up a big pot of corn chowder this afternoon. I could blame all the tears on my onion chopping, but, really, this is a heart-tugging sweet tale will make even the darkest soul melt into a big old mush melon.

Narrated by the talented David Morse, this is a man at the end of a long life. As he looks backwards at his regrets and loves, you see that life is nothing more than thousands of tiny moments. What makes this story stand out is the fact that it is told of through the man's dementia. You will see his memories the way he sees them: a little mixed up and confused, but the love is what always comes through.

A deeply touching and charming story. So tender and lovely, just have a box of Kleenex nearby!

Profile Image for Maxwell.
1,135 reviews8,140 followers
October 16, 2016
Such a beautifully written story of big themes like life, love and loss, but written in an accessible and moving way. Backman can do no wrong. 4.5 stars
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