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

my grandmother asked me to tell you she's sorry

Publication Date: June 16th, 2015
Publisher: Atria Books

Synopsis: 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 Review:

I absolutely loved A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman.  It was one of the most touching, important books that I have read, probably in my lifetime.  It had a wonderful message and it was such a touching story that I’m not sure if any other books could ever come close to it for me.

This book was on my list of highly anticipated books of 2015.  I was so excited to read it and get drawn into the story like I did with A Man Called Ove, and that definitely happened.  I enjoyed the story and the characters, for the most part.  I loved how mature Elsa seemed for her age (although I’m not sure it was completely believable all the time), and how close she was to her grandmother.

I thoroughly enjoyed the fairy tale theme that went on in this story, about the Land-of-Almost-Awake (Elsa’s grandmother told her tons of fairy tales, and they are all incredibly important to the story line, so don’t be tempted to skim these) and all the kingdoms and characters (that eventually tie in to Elsa’s real life).

While I didn’t find myself as drawn to this book as I was drawn into A Man Called Ove, mostly because it seemed a bit drawn out, and some of the characters (like Elsa’s parents) really irritated me, it was a book that I can truthfully recommend to fans of Fredrik Backman’s debut novel, or anyone who enjoys a good story that has the ability to transport you into a whole other world.  It was funny, it was happy, it was sad, and sometimes it was all three at the same time, but no matter what it was, it was a great story of how love can last, and how people you love will always be with you, even when it doesn’t seem like it.

Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


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