ABOUT THE BOOK:
From the author of the internationally bestselling A Man Called Ove, a novel about a young girl whose grandmother dies and leaves behind a series of letters, sending her on a journey that brings to life the world of her grandmother's fairy tales.
Elsa is seven years old and different. Her grandmother is seventy-seven years old and crazy, standing-on-the-balcony-firing-paintball-guns-at-men-who-want-to-talk-about-Jesus-crazy. She is also Elsa's best, and only, friend. At night Elsa takes refuge in her grandmother's stories, in the Land of Almost-Awake and the Kingdom of Miamas where everybody is different and nobody needs to be normal.
When Elsa's grandmother dies and leaves behind a series of letters apologizing to people she has wronged, Elsa's greatest adventure begins. Her grandmother's letters lead her to an apartment building full of drunks, monsters, attack dogs, and totally ordinary old crones, but also to the truth about
My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry by Fredrik Backman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman is a 2015 Atria publication.
I read “Britt-Marie was Here” a while back and really liked it. It was suggested to me several times that I should go back and read this book because Brit-Marie is a secondary character here and this book is a segue into BMWH.
I am glad I was gently nudged to read this book and I couldn’t have chosen a better time to read this one. After having read several books in a row with melancholy themes, this book brightened my mood significantly.
That is not to say this book is fluffy, because it’s not. There are plenty poignant and emotional moments expertly woven into this humorous and whimsical story which features a precocious seven -year old girl named Elsa.
Every seven -year old deserves a superhero.
For Elsa that is her seventy-seven year old grandmother who regales her with stories that become like a secret communication between them. Her grandmother always comes to defense, is always in her corner, something Elsa desperately needs because she is a little different. This, of course, sets her up for a great deal of bullying at school, and causes her mother a good deal of exasperation at times.
But, when her grandmother dies, Elsa is left to cope with her parent’s divorce, her mother’s pregnancy, and her issues at school without her staunch supporter. Elsa is not only sad, but is also angry that her grandmother has abandoned her.
But, via a series of apology letters her grandmother wrote to various people she felt she had wronged, Elsa is sent on an adventurous journey that will enlighten her, challenge her perception of her beloved grandmother, and change the dynamics of her relationship with her mother and other family members, opening a door towards forgiveness and acceptance.
Elsa stole my heart, as was intended. I enjoy seeing children portrayed as trailblazers in a way, because they refuse to give in to conformity. Elsa doesn’t do this as an intentional rebellion, though. She is who she is and her ‘crazy grandmother’ encourages her.
Elsa’s love of Wikipedia is hilarious at times, but it’s her fondness for Harry Potter books that was so telling. That she related to those characters, is a testament to how stories and books can offer relief and comfort, as well as influence and teach.
While the characters are quirky and eccentric, the story has a slightly sinister undertone, because Elsa is afraid of ‘The monster’ which is more than just a part of her imagination and
But overall this is a story of family and its complexities and mysteries, the regrets and mistakes, and triumphs and sacrifices made over the course of a lifetime, atonement, understanding, forgiveness, and embracing individuality.
I was thoroughly entertained by this novel, and enjoyed experiencing the wealth of and range of emotions and it evoked. This is a delightful story, full of charm and hope!!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Fredrik Backman, a blogger and columnist, is the New York Times bestselling author of A MAN CALLED OVE and MY GRANDMOTHER ASKED ME TO TELL YOU SHE’S SORRY. Both were number one bestsellers in his native Sweden and around the world, and are being published in more than thirty five territories. His latest novel is BRITT-MARIE WAS HERE. He lives in Stockholm with his wife and two children. Visit him online at his blog: FredrikBackman.com, on twitter @backmanland, or on
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