My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman


Elsa’s granny is certainly “different” –and Elsa knows how complicated, even burdensome, that can be.  But Elsa also knows that even while she can argue for hours, even days with her granny (mainly about the fairytale world they’ve constructed), she always knows that Granny has her back.  So what happens if something happens to Granny…?

Utilizing the world of fantasy, Elsa’s Granny helps Elsa escape a world in which she feels alienated and lonely because she is “different.” Unfortunately, because of how closely this is entwined with the actual storyline, there is vast description of this fantasy world, to which I personally felt disconnected.  These parts lost me a little.  On the other hand, the parts that were real pulled me back in.  And while I was not crazy about the fairytale parts, I do appreciate the brilliance of the author’s use of this as a vehicle to show Granny’s eccentric but steadfast show of love for Elsa.

What is most beautiful about this book are the characters.  They are real, imperfect, temperamental, sweet, and human.  And all are portrayed with such grace and subtlety in the course of the telling of the story.  The way the story is constructed, there seems to be a wall of characters built around Elsa, who function as a fortress to protect her and love her.  It is very moving and I have to confess that I did choke up at times.

All in all, it’s a beautiful story that slowly and very definitely works its way into your heart.


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