Next up on the holiday reading/listening list is The Deal of a Lifetime by Fredrik Backman.
I really enjoy Backman's writing - his 'left of centre' characters and the situations he places them in.
In this novella, the lead character is a man who was driven all his life to succeed and excel at business. Where he failed was as a father. He narrates this tale, finally acknowledging his absence and shortcomings to his son. A chance meeting with a dying little girl gives him a chance at redemption. I'm not going to spoil things by telling you how that comes about. It's not quite what you would imagine at all.
"Hi. It's your dad. You'll be waking up soon, it's Christmas Eve morning in Helsingborg, and I've killed a person. That's not how fairy tales usually begin, I know. But I took a life. Does it make a difference if you know whose it was?"
Backman's writing always moves me. And he's able to do the same thing that he's done in his books as in this 'small' piece of work. I chose to listen to The Deal of a Lifetime. The reader was Santino Fontana. His voice is clear and he enunciates well. His voice suited the mental image I had of this businessman and his regrets. He provides believable voices for the other two characters in the book. He interprets the emotion of the story well. The Deal of a Lifetime was a short, sweet listen, perfect for this ruminative time of the year. The reader can't help but reflect upon their own life - what and who is important in your life? And what would you do to 'fix' things?
The title is clever - as you'll find out. Backman's introduction is just as poignant as the tale he tells. Listen to an excerpt of The Deal of a Lifetime.