Named a Best New Book by People
A little book with a big message about life, love, and learning to say goodbye.
Grandpa and Noah are sitting on a bench in a square that keeps getting smaller every day. It’s strange but also familiar, full of the things that have made up their lives: Grandpa’s work desk, the stuffed dragon that he once gave to Noah, the sweet-smelling hyacinths that his wife once loved to grow.
As they wait together on the bench, the two bond over old jokes and their shared love of mathematics. Grandpa recalls what it was like to fall in love with his wife. 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, and has waited his entire life for his father to accept him. In their love of Noah, they have found a point of connection.
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 goodbye, the scent of hyacinths in the air, nothing to fear.
“Wise and heartbreaking, Backman’s slim novella celebrates the joy of connecting even in the midst of letting go.”
“Beautiful, dreamlike, heartbreaking, and heartwarming. Bring tissues. Bring all the tissues.”
“I read this beautifully imagined and moving novella in one sitting, utterly wowed, wanting to share it with everyone I know.”
“Laugh-out-loud funny and sentimentally philosophical.”
—Lisa Genova, New York Times bestselling author of Still Alice
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