Saturday, July 9, 2016

My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry - Book Review

by Fredrik Backman


A Delightful and Most Charming Story


Available on Amazon

Elsa is seven-going-on-eight, and different.  Granny is seventy-seven years old, and nutty. They are best friends and love each other dearly.  Elsa admits only to herself that her granny is her ONLY friend, as her school chums think her strange and are mean to her. Elsa's strangeness is only in the fact that she is extremely smart and very grown-up for her age (constantly looking words up on Wikipedia!). Her world revolves around her grandmother, her parents, adventures in the fairy tales granny tells, and her admiration for superheros and Harry Potter.

Elsa's parents are divorced and she sees her dad every-other-weekend.  The rest of the time she lives with her mom, who is expecting a baby, and George on the top floor of a 4-story flat across the hall from her grandmother.  The rest of the apartment building is filled with a strange mixture of people we learn about as time goes on. 



The Land-of-Almost-Awake

 

For quite some years, Granny has been telling fairy tales to Elsa to help her go to sleep and get her to practice Granny's secret language.  The fairy tales take place in the "Land-of-Almost-Awake" and the "Kingdom of Miamas" where everybody is different and nobody needs to be normal. 

Later, Elsa's grandmother dies and leaves behind a series of letters apologizing to people she has wronged.  The letters are entrusted to Elsa to deliver, bringing about her greatest adventure ever.  The stories of the people who live in the apartment building, including a brave dog who is very much like the 'wurse' in the Kingdom of Miamas, are revealed to us one by one.  As each letter is delivered we learn the truth about fairy tales and kingdoms and a grandmother like no other.


My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry was written by Fredrik Backman, a native of Sweden who lives in Stockholm. This is only his second novel, but you get the feeling from this well-written story that he has been writing for a very long time. 



His first novel is A Man Called Ove, which became a #1 bestseller in Sweden. 

*Note: When Backman's second book was first published in England in 2014, it had the title: My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologises. 



My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She's Sorry

 

My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry is an absolutely charming story filled with humor and wisdom, and with a glimpse into a fairy tale world we all wish we could visit.  I took Elsa and her grandmother so much to heart that when I finished the book I wanted to immediately go back to page one and read it all over again. You'll laugh, you'll cry, and you will fall in love with these delightful characters. I highly recommend this book.




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

18 comments:

  1. wow you really got me interested in this book. I had a grandmother I totally loved so I can imagine a close friendship like this. I'm not so sure my grammy would want to tell anyone she was sorry though. She was so wonderful I doubt she would ever need to apologize to anyone. Great review!

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    1. Thanks, Heather. I had the same kind of grandmother you did. Sweet and wonderful and 'perfect'. The 'grandmother' in this book is unique and delightful, and Elsa adores her and tells you why as the story continues.

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  2. I will admit the title of this book did not appeal to me. However, after reading your review I have changed my mind and I look forward to reading the book. I love the premise of the "Kingdom of Miamas" where everybody is different and nobody needs to be normal. That is a truth we all should embrace!

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    1. Interesting to read your first thought about the book title, Mouse. The title of this book is what drew me in. That, and the fact that the description on the cover said one of the characters was a little 7-year-old girl. The grandmother invented the "Kingdom of Miamas" for her granddaughter because Elsa felt so 'different' and out of place at school. In Miamas, everyone is different and that's a good way to be!

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    2. I think my initial reaction to the title is simply because we are so often required to answer or pay for things that happened in our ancestors lives that we had no control over, from pollution to wars. Until I started reading your review, I had no idea what the book was actually about.

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  3. Elf I read Backman's first book "A Man Called Ove" for book club and really enjoyed it. Thanks so much for this review. i know I want to try this book now.

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    1. Excellent, Mary Beth, that you've read Backman's first book. After reading this one, I now want to read "A Man Called Ove".

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  4. Oh this sounds like a wonderful book! Having been very close to my own Grandmother it has already tugged at my heart just a bit. Can't wait to visit the Kingdom of Miamas!

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    1. I was very close to MY grandmother, too, Beverly. I know just how you feel. You will like the 'Kingdom of Miamas' I'm quite sure.

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  5. I have to agree with Ms. Sylvestermouse, the title didn't do it for me, but having read your review, it is on my book list near the top! Thanks for a great review...

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    1. Olivia, it's funny how a book title can appeal to you or turn you away. I found the title charming and even more so after reading the book.

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  6. Awesome review! This sounds like a wonderful story and a great summer read.

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    1. I agree, Susan. It IS a great summer read. It's light-hearted and charming and perfect for a lazy summer day.

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  7. This sounds like a book I would enjoy. All I need is the time to read it. Your review has certainly made me want to.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed my review, Barbara.

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  8. Pat, this sounds like a wonderful book, also a terrific gift selection, I'm pinning this to remember it as a gift for a few people in my circle of love :)

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Barbara. Yes, this book would make a great gift. I want to give one to my daughter as I think she'd really like it. She & I often have 'book' discussions, both being big readers and liking the same books.

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  9. Thanks for your review, Pat. I have added it to my reading list.

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