The Borrowed Life of Frederick Fife

A Novel

by Anna Johnston

On Sale: 09/10/2024

The Borrowed Life of Frederick Fife

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The Borrowed Life of Frederick Fife

A Novel

by Anna Johnston

On Sale: 09/10/2024


About the Book

For readers of Remarkably Bright Creatures and The Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, a warm, life-affirming debut about a zany case of mistaken identity that allows a lonely old man one last chance to be part of a family.

“Would you mind terribly, old boy, if I borrowed the rest of your life? I promise I’ll take excellent care of it.”

Frederick Fife was born with an extra helping of kindness in his heart. If he borrowed your car, he’d return it washed with a full tank of gas. The problem is there’s nobody left in Fred’s life to borrow from. At eighty-two, he’s desperately lonely, broke, and on the brink of homelessness. But Fred’s luck changes when, in a bizarre case of mistaken identity, he takes the place of grumpy Bernard Greer at the local nursing home. Now he has warm meals in his belly and a roof over his head—as long as his poker face is in better shape than his prostate and that his look-alike never turns up. 

Denise Simms is stuck breathing the same disappointing air again and again. A middle-aged mom and caregiver at Bernard's facility, her crumbling marriage and daughter's health concerns are suffocating her joy for life. Wounded by her two-faced husband, she vows never to let a man deceive her again.

As Fred walks in Bernard’s shoes, he leaves a trail of kindness behind him, fueling Denise's suspicions about his true identity. When unexpected truths are revealed, Fred and Denise rediscover their sense of purpose and learn how to return a broken life to mint condition. 

Bittersweet and remarkably perceptive, The Borrowed Life of Frederick Fife is a hilarious, feel-good, clever novel about grief, forgiveness, redemption, and finding family.

Critical Praise

“Warm, witty and heartfelt, Frederik Fife is a loveable character you’ll want to cheer on from your armchair. This is a sweet, touching life-swap adventure you won’t want to miss.” — Phaedra Patrick, bestselling author of The Messy Lives of Book people

“Anna Johnston has created a wonderfully diverse cast of funny, flawed, and completely relatable characters, and she tells their stories with humor, honesty, and compassion. Fred is one of life’s unsung heroes—a loveable rogue with a big heart for whom kindness towards others comes as naturally as breathing—and I was rooting for him from the start. It was an absolute joy to follow him on his poignant, hilarious and at times precarious journey to find the happy ending that he so richly deserved. What a glorious story, I absolutely loved it!” — Ruth Hogan, bestselling author of The Keeper of Lost Things

“I was completely swept away by Anna Johnston’s charming and clever debut. Frederick Fife is an easy character to root for, someone warm and a touch mischievous, who can’t help but improve the lives of those around him. A life-affirming and hilarious tale of mistaken identity, The Borrowed Life of Frederick Fife insists that it’s never too late for a second chance.” — Amy Meyerson, bestselling author of The Bookshop of Yesterdays

“Anna Johnson's funny and moving debut had me hooked from the first page. Fred is truly someone to root for, and with a cast of quirky characters at his side, this is the warm hug of a novel we all need in our lives.” — Richard Roper, author of Something to Live For


Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780063419742
  • ISBN 10: 0063419742
  • Imprint: William Morrow Paperbacks
  • On Sale: 09/10/2024
  • Pages: 336
  • List Price:25.99 CAD
  • BISAC1 : FICTION / Family Life
  • BISAC2 : FICTION / Humorous / General
  • BISAC3 : FICTION / Friendship
  • BISAC4 : FICTION: World Literature / Australia

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