The New York Times best-selling author of A Man Called Ove, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry, and Britt-Marie Was Here offers 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.
"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?"
Grandpa and Noah are sitting on a bench in a square that keeps getting smaller every day. The square is strange but also familiar, full of the odds and ends that have made up their lives: Grandpa's work desk, the stuffed dragon that Grandpa once gave to Noah, the sweet-smelling hyacinths that Grandma loved to grow in her garden.
As they wait together on the bench, they tell jokes and discuss their shared love of mathematics. Grandpa recalls what it was like to fall in love with his wife, what it was like to lose her. She's as real to him now as the first day he met her, but he dreads the day when he won't remember her.
Sometimes Grandpa sits on the bench next to Ted, Noah's father - Ted who never liked math, prefers writing and playing guitar, and has waited his entire life for his father to have time for him, to accept him. But in their love of Noah, they have found a common bond.
Grandpa, Grandma, Ted, and Noah all meet here, in this peculiar space that is growing dimmer and more confusing all the time. And here is where they will learn to say good-bye, the scent of hyacinths in the air, nothing to fear.
This little book with a big message is certain to be treasured for generations to come.
©2016 Fredrik Backman. All rights reserved. (P)2016 Simon & Schuster
I can't rank it, because it didn't feel like an audiobook. It felt like a spirit and a prayer and a heartache. Depending on where you are in your life it will either be perfect, poignant, or possibly fearful as you think about the loss of a loved one.
It was so brief they are all memorable. Equally powerful when the grandfather recounts how much he misses his wife, as well as when Noah is the one supporting his grandfather.
The narrator was perfect. I suppose the grandson Noah was my favorite, but it was because he embodied the spirit of his grandfather.
The road home
It will be an hour of your life you that you will likely always remember. Highly recommend.
I love Fredrik Backman's books in general, but this latest book, a novella, totally captured me. It's difficult to describe because it doesn't have a classic plot, but it's about aging and how we change as we age and how the people who love us continue to love us even when our memories fade and shift. It's a very short book, so I listened to it twice in one evening, and my husband read a Kindle copy in one sitting, and we were both totally drawn into it. I'll read it again later and recommend it to people I care for. It's truly a novel that helps the changes we'll all go through as we change. A wonderful book.
Loved it! I wish I could change so many things...... I hope I did some things right. But then again I did the best I knew how to do at the time. And so did you.
Rating scale: 5=Loved it, 4=Liked it, 3=Ok, 2=Disappointed, 1=Hated it. I look for well developed characters, compelling stories.
Fredrick Backman must be an extraordinary person to know. In this very small gem he has captured all types of love – of your soulmate, of a child and a grandchild. How each in their own way has charted roads on the map of your life. How precious it is to remember how to navigate those roads in memory at the end of life and the fear of losing one’s way. And perhaps most important is to know that the love you feel is returned by those loved ones even when you have finally had to say goodbye. Warmly and beautifully narrated by David Morse.
I love everything I've read from this auther, each story brings deep felt and varied emotion.
I am never disappointed by this author. Every time I read one of his books, my faith in human kind is renewed.
This is a wonderful short story for anyone that is getting older or knows someone who is. The story is both happy and somewhat sad however the truth rings out. Love, life, loss and more love are life and they are all contained within. Smell the sunshine and the water.
This seems to me to be Backman's driving idea, and it infuses all his books with warmth. He always delivers the particular joy of finally understanding a conundrum.
More than all the many articles I've sought answers from, this short tale helped me grasp what dementia is and how I might respond to it in others, and eventually, perhaps. myself.
A story of love and remembering. Of joy and sadness. Of peace and of kindness. Beautiful explanation of the loss of Alzheimer's.
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