The Deal of a Lifetime

The Deal of a Lifetime


It is Christmas Eve, and a father and son are meeting for the first time in years. The father has a story he needs to share before it's too late. As he tells his son about a courageous little girl lying in a hospital bed a few miles away, he reveals even more about himself: his triumphs in business, his failures as a parent, his past regrets, his hopes for the future.

Now, on this night before Christmas, 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 the answer.

Our Review

The Deal of a Lifetime is a character driven novella by Fredrik Backman. I don’t know if you have read any of his books previously, but you should.

The Deal of a Lifetime is set on Christmas Eve with a father and son meeting for the first time in years. The father talks about a courageous young girl lying in a hospital bed and the choice he can make to save her life. In order to make this choice though he first has to measure what his life has been worth.

The book begins with a brief word from the author in which we glean some information about him. This part of the book was as interesting for me as the story itself.

“This is a short story about what you would be prepared to sacrifice in order to save a life. If it was not only your future on the line, but also your past. Not only the places you are going, but the footprints you have left behind. If it was all of it, all of you, who would you give yourself up for?”

One other detail I liked was the little illustrations spaced throughout the book.

The book begins with the father writing a letter to his son on Christmas Eve.

“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?”

The letter continues on to ask:

“Does it make a difference if I killed a good person? A loved person? A valuable life?

If it was a child?”

The courageous girl in the book is 5 and has terminal cancer.

“Everyone has given her crayons all the time. As though she could draw away her illness, colour away the needles and the drugs. She knew that wasn’t possible, of course, she was a smart kid, but she pretended for their sakes.”

I’m not willing to say more about the rest of the plot of The Deal of a Lifetime because it is such a short book and I have no wish to ruin it for anyone.

The Deal of a Lifetime was a lovely little read.

Our Final Rating...

Our Rating

  • Currently 4/5

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