Thursday, June 18, 2015

My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry

My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry by Fredrik Backman
Atria Books: 6/16/2015
eBook review copy, 384 pages

hardcover ISBN-13: 9781501115066

My Thoughts:

My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry by Fredrik Backman is very highly recommended fairytale. I love this book! Great writing, incredible storytelling, wonderful plot... My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry has it all!

Elsa is 7, almost 8, years old and bullied for being different. She loves her grandmother who is 77 and a little bit crazy. Elsa's grandmother is her best friend and her champion. Her grandmother tells her stories from the Land of Almost-Awake and the Kingdom of Miamas "where everybody is different and nobody needs to be normal." Elsa has memorized all the stories her grandmother told her.

"Granny isn’t particularly good at living in the real world. There are too many rules. She cheats when she plays Monopoly and drives Renault in the bus lane and steals those yellow carrier bags from IKEA and won’t stand behind the line when she’s at the conveyor belt at the airport. And when she goes to the bathroom she leaves the door open. But she does tell the very best fairy tales ever, and for that Elsa can forgive quite a few character defects."

When her grandmother dies, she leaves behind a series of letters that Elsa must deliver to people, telling them that her grandmother is sorry. Elsa only has to deliver one letter at a time before the next letter is revealed. While Elsa delivers the letters she is also dealing with her grief and anger. Anger over, in part, her grandmother's death, her mother's busyness, her parents' divorce, her new half-sibling due to arrive soon. What Elsa learns through the letters and her journey to deliver them is that the fairy tales her grandmother told her are real. The magic, heroism, tragedy, and danger in the fairytales are present and reflected in the various people Elsa meets when delivering the letters.

I simply loved this book and My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry will certainly be on the best books of the year list. For a story full of grief, it is also full of hope, forgiveness, and acceptance. You have to stick with the story until  the fairytales Elsa's grandmother told her are shown to be connected to the real world and provide a poignant insight into the people surrounding Elsa.

Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Atria Book for review purposes.

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