Wednesday, September 16, 2015

My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry

Fredrik Backman

From the author of the internationally bestselling A Man Called Ove, a charming, warmhearted 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 fairytales and kingdoms and a grandmother like no other.

My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry is told with the same comic accuracy and beating heart as Fredrik Backman’s internationally bestselling debut novel, A Man Called Ove. It is a story about life and death and an ode to one of the most important human rights: the right to be different.

My Thoughts

“Having a grandmother is like having an army. This is a grandchild’s ultimate privelage: knowing that someone is on your side, always, whatever the details. Even when you are wrong. Especially then, in fact.”
And so it is between Elsa and her Granny. Elsa grew up having her grandmother tell her fairy tales about the kingdom in the Land-of-Almost-Awake. When Granny dies, Elsa feels as though she has lost her best friend. Little did she know that her Granny had plans for her to deliver letters to different people in their apartment building and who those people would really turn out to be. Was the Land-of-Almost-Awake really just a fairy tale?

Oh how Mr. Backman has a way with making a reader fall in love with his characters. Elsa has such a brave heart and she is determined to follow through with her Granny’s wishes to deliver each letter. Along the way, she meets some amazing people and learns many lessons about love, community and family.

This story was magical. Not just because of the premise, but because of it’s message. What a delight!

My thanks to Atria, via Netgalley, for allowing me to read this in exchange for an unbiased review.

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