The Deal of a Lifetime by Fredrik Backman
December 11, 2018
Dear Mr. Hemingway,
Fredrik Backman is such a beautiful writer. His work taps into emotions I never knew existed. I can easily laugh out loud, cry into a box of tissues, and ponder into the wee hours of the night after reading any of his books. His novella, The Deal of a Lifetime, is no exception. It was originally printed in Backman’s local newspaper in Sweden before being published as a book. This story is not easy to summarize. I read it three times in one sitting, just to absorb its depth. Here is a glimpse into this magical story of love, hope, and beyond.
A middle-aged absentee father. A cancer diagnosis. A death. Is a legacy of wealth, material things, and disappointment worth leaving behind?
A five-year-old girl. A cancer diagnosis. No regret, just wonder. Will death be cold? Should she pack her gloves just in case?
Backman’s novella can be read in its entirety over your morning coffee. It may be short, but its message will stay with you long after you close the book. Backman writes about how one man’s journey changes drastically after staring death in the eyes. This nameless character is presented with a unique opportunity to change the life course of a little girl he just recently met and to erase the sorrow he has caused the son he never took the time to know. Is this a deal he is ready to make?
“A second is always a second; that’s the one definite value we have on Earth. Everyone is always negotiating, all of the time. You’re doing the deal of your life, every day.”
This is not your traditional holiday story, but instead, one to be read and reflected upon during this time of year. It will cause you to meditate on what is truly valuable. Presents are fun to give, but the gift of being present will outweigh any material possession. It is easy to forget in the hustle and bustle of daily life to use our seconds wisely. Make each second count. Each second is a deal we make thousands of times a day. Do not be afraid to enjoy time. However, hold dear to your heart that yesterday has expired. Make sure to live today with thoughtfulness and love. Look forward to tomorrow without wishing the days away. Start now. Do not wait until you are unkindly reminded by time.
Until next time my friend!
Your Biggest Fan,
P.S. “Time is a thief I would rob.” (Heart of the World by Lady Antebellum)