July 26, 2021

When Will It Finally Be Like It Never Was Again (2016, Joachim Meyerhoff)

Image credit: Wanted to be Reading.

When Will It Finally Be Like It Never Was Again is a book narrated as if it were a memoir, through the eyes of the little one Joachim, or Jocki as he likes to be called, who grew up in a house on the property of the Hesterberg Psychiatric Hospital in the city of Schleswig, Germany, where his father works, and was given over to us for review by the publisher. Valentina.


This is normal? Growing up among hundreds of people with physical and mental disabilities, as the youngest son of the director of a psychiatric hospital for children and young people? Our little hero knows no other reality – and he even likes the one he does. The father runs an institution with more than 1,200 patients, he is absent inside his own house when he sits in his armchair to read. The mother organizes the day to day, but complains about her role. The brothers are dedicated to their hobbies, but for him they only reserve evil things. And he himself has difficulty with the lyrics and is always filled with great anger. He is happy as he rides across the institution’s grounds on the shoulders of a gigantic, bell-ringing inmate.


When It Will Finally Return to Being Like Never It Was is a tragicomic romance that speaks of a “normal” family living among the “crazy” and that uses this artifice to talk about the dysfunctional relationship of the characters with each other, which is nothing more than the portrait from a family that could be yours or, at the very least, that of someone very close to you.


In this book, by narrating some situations, Joachim Meyerhoff shows us how his peculiar life was without the pretension of making a great reflection and/or making sense of them, just expressing how they made him feel at the time and how he sees them now, everything from a personal and very private point of view.

As it is an autobiographical book, it may not appeal to readers looking for fiction; and for those who have read any story that takes place in a large institution, be it a hospital, prison, hospital… magic school… or any other, it is inevitable to turn the pages avid for unique and striking characters, which unfortunately we do not find on here.

I didn’t stick to Meyerhoff’s work and I had difficulties in finishing the 348 pages, but every story must be told and especially for the right audience, maybe you are that audience. So remember: a criticism is never, nor will it ever be, an absolute truth.

our grade

1,5 / 5,0

Publishing company: Valentina

Author: Joachim Meyerhoff

Pages: 348

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