Wednesday, August 05, 2015

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

Title: My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry
Author: Fredrik Backman
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Publication Date: 16th June 2015
Pages: 384
Book Source: Atria Books & NetGalley

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 Thoughts:
After the wonder of A Man Called Ove I jumped at the chance to read Fredrik Backman's latest. 

And just like A Man Called Ove, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry was a whole lot of feeling; one minute laughing out loud, the next minute tears flowing.  

I fell in love with wonderful, crazy Granny and precocious 7 year old Elsa, having a granddaughter of my own I felt their special bond.

"Life-saving and driving people nuts are Granny's superpowers. Which perhaps makes her a bit of a dysfunctional superhero." 

"Which is one of Elsa's favourite things about her Granny." Up there with throwing turds at the police?? lol ... "It's a little complicated."

"Because all seven-year-olds deserve superheroes."

I love fairytales, I loved that the roots of Granny's fairytales were planted in reality. And I loved Elsa's mission "to deliver every single one of Granny's sorries." But I'm guessing I'll be in the minority when I say wading through the 5 kingdoms in the Land-of-Almost-Awake was too long-winded for me and stopped this being a favourite read. 

But what I loved ... I really loved. 

I loved the honesty, the naivety and complexity, the craziness, absurdity and childish wonder of it all.

My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry is a treasure chest of life lessons wrapped up in imagination, warmth and humour.

"Granny then said the real trick of life was that almost no one is entirely a shit and almost no one is entirely not a shit. The hard part of life is keeping as much on the not-a-shit side as one can."

Connect with Fredrik Backman


  1. That last quote you included in your review is one of my favourites from the book :)

  2. I absolutely loved A Man Called Ove so I'm planning to read this too but I wasn't sure if I'd like it because of the weird fairytale aspect.

    1. let me know what you think Christina, I loved A Man Called Ove too so I was a teensy bit disappointed that this one didn't match it.

  3. Replies
    1. I hope you like it Julie. Have you read A Man Called Ove yet? I think you'd find it hilarious :))

  4. A book I should read in Swedish, sigh, I never read in my language

    1. I'm surprised you haven't read A Man Called Ove yet. Bad B lol ;)

  5. I took a while to get into this one. Magic and fantasy have not been my genre so this took a bit of effort to finish.

    1. I can understand Mystica, I love fantasy and fairytales and I still found that part pretty slow.

  6. This sounds a great read in spite of the long trip through the 5 kingdoms. I love the last quote too - so true! I haven't read A Man Called Ove yet so should probably start with that by the sound of it.

    1. that's what I'd go with Kathryn, although Shelleyrae loved this one.

  7. I'm not too sure about the kingdoms.... But have heard good things about this book.

  8. Ok, I have written down both of these titles, I love the sound of this story and the writing.

  9. I have A Man Called Ove, which I haven't read yet....hope to get to this one afterwards. Thanks for sharing...and I'll be forewarned about the long-winded bits.


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