The Deal of a Lifetime – Fredrik Backman


In this short story enhanced with beautiful illustrations, the bestselling author of A Man Called Ove and Beartown delivers an insightful and poignant tale about finding out what is truly important in life.

A father and a son are seeing each other for the first time in years. The father has a story to share before it’s too late. He tells his son about a courageous little girl lying in a hospital bed a few miles away. 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 he talks about this plucky little girl, the father also reveals more about himself: his triumphs in business, his failures as a parent, his past regrets, his hopes for the future.

Now, on a cold winter’s night, the father has been given an unexpected chance to do something remarkable that could change the destiny of a little girl he hardly knows. But before he can make the deal of a lifetime, he must find out what his own life has actually been worth, and only his son can reveal that answer.

With humor and compassion, Fredrik Backman’s The Deal of a Lifetime reminds us that life is a fleeting gift, and our legacy rests in how we share that gift with others.

My review

The Deal of a Lifetime was a perfect short story to read around Christmas time. I love Christmas. I love the joy of waking up on Christmas morning knowing that Santa has paid our house a visit, the sparkly decorations, the neverending Christmas food… most of all I love spending time with family. I think holidays are a time when we are reminded of what is really important. Our loved ones. This story reinforces that heartfelt connection between special holidays and love for others.

The Deal of a Lifetime is short, yet thought provoking. This is my first experience of Fredrik Blackman’s writing. He wrote it just before Christmas with his wife and children asleep nearby. The introduction from the author is humble and selfless, pulling at the heartstrings from the beginning.

The presentation of the book and the drawings are equally beautiful. The drawings give additional layers to the story and I found myself pondering over them as much as the writing.

The story is not the usual Christmas story. It starts ‘Hi. It’s your dad. You’ll be waking up soon, it’s Christmas Eve morning in Helsinborg, and I’ve killed a person.’ I was captivated from the first line. I loved that the father shares his deepest thoughts and feelings in order to make a life altering decision. His respect for his son increases throughout the pages and there is a realisation that his son had taught him important life lessons. This rang true for me. As a parent, my son teaches me something new everyday.

I read this novella on the drive to my father-in-law’s house before our Christmas party, which was the best timing. There I was about to enjoy time with my beautiful family and that I did. Every moment. I would recommend this story. There are life lessons and reminders that truly reinforce what we all know is important.


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