Tag Archives: Atria Books

And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer, by Fredrik Backman

27 Feb
and-every-morning-fredrik-backman

FIVE+ of FIVE stars

This book took me months to finish. MONTHS. I started in November and didn’t finish until February. Not because it was horrible, or slow, or a difficult read… but because my heart could barely take it. Any given page in this book had my heart trembling in my throat, drowning with emotion. After any 3-5 pages I would be a sobbing mess, having to set the book down again for a couple weeks while my heart healed. Like all Backman books, this one is happy, sad, beautiful, heartbreaking. But this book is even more of an emotional ride than the others. Perhaps because the main character isn’t as overtly flawed as Backman’s others. Ove had people split down the middle, with people either hating the ornery old man or seeing beyond his outward prickliness. The Grandpa in this story admits he was not the perfect father, but his love for his wife and grandson shine through so magnificently that there is no doubt of the amazing heart within this man.

And because of all the love he contains in his heart, the rest of the story is just too heartbreaking to take. Like all Backman books, the sadness is surrounded by happiness, because Grandpa is surrounded by as much love as he contains in his heart. I mean, it is pointless trying to convey in this review how powerful this book is. Why am I even trying. This book is FIVE STARS. The book is beautiful, it is powerful, it is heartwrenching, it is a must read.

I was given a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for a fair review. My fair review includes the caveat that I’m sorry it took so long to get a review entered, but the novella is so painfully beautiful that I just couldn’t get all the way through until now.

Britt-Marie Was Here, by Fredrik Backman

1 May
britt marie was here fredrik backman

Five of Five stars

Fredrik Backman is great at creating characters who live in a box; a box with straight lines and perfect angles, where rules are always followed in order to prevent the downfall of civilization. We were introduced to Britt-Marie in [book:My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry|23604559], and the last we saw of her she was leaving her cheating husband Kent.

This book picks up just days later, when Britt-Marie has to find a job and a place to live. Suddenly she is out of her safe little box and in the middle of the wide, wide world. Or at least in the tiny little town of Borg, Sweden. We follow Britt-Marie as she meets the tough and rough-around-the-edges town people, and struggles to redraw her comfortable box around herself.

Backman is terribly gifted at getting into the minds of his characters, and showing the terrified, mooshy insides of people who have extremely tough exteriors. Britt-Marie is long past middle-age, and drawing a new box is both scary and near impossible. In her new world she needs to find new friends, new loves, new ways of living, and the urge to return to the safety of her old box feels like a much better option than what she is now confronted with.

The book is much like Backman’s characters: a hilarious outer shell surrounds the sadness in the center of the story, but the story is told with such beauty it can take your breath away. I fall in love with all Backman’s characters, and I hope we will soon get to return to this beautiful, difficult world that he has created.

Thank you so much to NetGalley for the chance to review an early edition of this book.