Better World Books Podcast: Todd Johnson

sweetbyandbyTHE SWEET BY AND BY is one of those books that stays with you long after you’ve put it down.   Debut author Todd Johnson has drawn the characters so vividly and with so much love that, for me, they have become woven into the fabric of my own memories.   I know when I think of a true caretaker,  the person I’ll imagine is Lorraine, and when I am talking about women in their twilight years, I’ll think not only of my own grandmothers, but of Margaret and Bernice.

Now, I’m not usually someone who signs up for books (or movies) that are meant to make me cry, but I think I’ve actually had an epiphany here about the difference between a tear-jerker and a genuinely touching and emotional story.  Todd Johnson achieves the latter with THE SWEET BY AND BY because he didn’t set out to jerk your tears, he set out to tell a story about people who are often marginalized or ignored.  At first glance this book seems to be about aging and dying, but when you get to the heart of the matter it’s really about living and love.

Read it.  You’ll be glad you did.  But first, check out my talk with Todd, where I can barely hold back the tears!

Enjoy the interview, and click here to check out the rest of the great authors talking about their books on our podcast!

— Dana Barrett, Podcast Host



  1. What a wonderful interview, thank you so much – if any readers would like to talk with Todd Johnson about The Sweet By & By directly, join us on Monday, April 26th at 7 pm ET on Book Club Girl on Air. Questions can be sent in online during the show or you can call in and talk to Todd himself!

  2. Laurie Austin Santry says:

    I read this book when it first came out. Loved the book. Loved the interview. Now, I think, I’ll have to pull it out again and re-read it! If you haven’t read the book yet, do! Don’t let the nursing home setting put you off. This book is ultimately life affirming and a wonderful read.

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