The Deal of A Lifetime

The Deal of A Lifetime

A Novella

Book - 2017 | First Atria Books hardcover edition October 2017
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"Holiday novella about a man who sacrificed his family in the single-minded pursuit of success and the courageous little girl fighting for her life who crosses his path. It all begins with a father telling a story to his son on Christmas Eve. But this isn't your typical Christmas story. The father admits to his son that he's taken a life but he won't say whose--not yet. One week earlier, in a hospital late at night, the man met a five-year-old girl with cancer. She's a smart kid--smart enough to know that she won't beat cancer by drawing with crayons all day, but it seems to make the adults happy, so she keeps doing it. As the man tells his son about this plucky little girl, he slowly reveals more about himself: while he may be a successful businessman, idolized by the media and his peers, he knows he failed as a parent. Overwhelmed by the responsibility of fatherhood, he took the easy way out and left his wife and little boy twenty years ago to pursue professional success. Now he is left wondering if it's too late to forge a relationship with his son, who seems to be his opposite in every way--prizing happiness over money, surrounded by loving friends in a cozy town where he feels right at home. Face to face with the idea that something is missing, the man is given the unexpected chance to do something selfless that could change the destiny of the little girl in the hospital bed. But before he can make the deal of a lifetime, he needs to find out what his own life has actually been worth in the eyes of his son. And so, he seeks him out and tells him this story."--
Publisher: New York : Atria Books, 2017.
Edition: First Atria Books hardcover edition October 2017
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9781501193491
Branch Call Number: BACKM
Characteristics: 65 pages : illustrations ; 19 cm
Alternative Title: Ditt livs affär. English


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Oct 29, 2020

This book is like a trifle. You read it and you first impression is: this looks good. The illustrations are lovely. I feel things. I am pondering things. Then you allow the book to settle into your soul. You let that trifle sit and the flavors come together. You realize that this little book has amazing things to teach us and it will stay with you, not just through the holidays, but for many months and years to come. Backman's lack of details gives our protagonist universal appeal. Through it all is the woman with her list and a man who has a choice to make. The very best holiday books remind us why our Savior came to earth to begin with. Put this one on your reading list this holiday season if you haven't already been blessed by it.

Apr 01, 2019

The novels of Swedish author, Fredrik Backman have quickly become favorites of mine. I am conflicted by his novella's. While the novels are funny and heartwarming, the novella's grab you by the leg and drag you places unexpected, where you might not want to go but you end up sort of glad you did... ? The Deal of A Lifetime is one such novella. It is starkly realistic, almost kind but utterly heartbreaking.

Fredrik Backman warns us in his preface

"I was very tired; it had been a long and strange year, and I had been thinking a lot about the choices families make. Everyday, everywhere we go down one road or another. We play around; we stay at home; we fall in love and fall asleep right next to each other. We discover we need someone to sweep us off our feet to realize what time really is. So I tried to tell a story about that."

Boy, did he ever. The Deal of A Lifetime is a love story on multiple levels. It's a cautionary tale of regret and wrong roads. It's surely not what I expected.

". . . A second is always a second; that's the one definitive value we have on earth. Everyone is always negotiating, all of the time. You're doing the deal of your life, every day. This was mine. . . .

. . ."I'm scared." I admitted, but she shook her head.

"You're not scared. You're just grieving. No one tells you humans that your sorrow feels like fear."

"What are we grieving?"


Jan 24, 2018

Another excellent, quirky Fredrik Backman story. This one is a very quick read.

Dec 15, 2017

I thought it was excellent. I highly recommend it.

Dec 10, 2017

Weird, depressing, short holiday story. Didn't like it. Luckily, it was under 100 pages so got thru it quickly.

ArapahoeKati Nov 27, 2017

Another gorgeously written thought-provoking novella from Fredrik Backman. I was brought to tears by the final two pages.

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