The following is a book review by The Ameri Brit Mom. This is book #1 from The Ameri Brit Mom 24 Book Challenge in 2016. This post expresses the genuine opinion and experiences of The Ameri Brit Mom and is in no way endorsed by authors, publishers, and outside influences.
Title: My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry
Author: Fredrik Backman
Publisher: Atria Books
Copyright Date: 2015
“Every seven-year-old deserves a superhero.” (Backman 1)
The quote above is the opening line for this beautifully written novel by Fredrik Backman. Elsa is seven going on eight and a little different from the other children her age. Her best friend and superhero is her grandmother. But Granny isn’t your average grandmother. She’s a live-on-the-edge, obey-no-authority type of grandmother. She doesn’t talk about life before becoming a grandmother, but that doesn’t seem to bother Elsa too much.
Most nights Elsa spends time in her grandmother’s flat across the hall (of their boarding house) where they venture together to their very own make believe world, the Land of Almost Awake. For years, Granny has been creating fairy tales and a secret language to lull Elsa to sleep and to reveal pieces of her own history. It isn’t until the passing of her grandmother that Elsa begins to understand that these fairy tales are rooted in real life.
One by one Elsa begins to receive letters from her grandmother for neighbors in the apartment building. With each delivery Elsa begins to piece together the life story Granny never showed her. And her innocent world of fairy tales begins to blend with the reality that monstrosity lives in this world, but not all monsters are bad.
This was an epic tale of compassion. Set in modern day Sweden, this novel is a walk through humanity. In her quest to deliver Granny’s letters Elsa confronts some of her biggest fears and deepest prejudices until the walls that Granny had built around them begin to crumble down. Elsa learns that it’s okay to be different and that differences should be embraced.
Backman is a new favorite in our household. As I read this book my husband became obsessed with Backman’s first best seller, The Man Called Ove. I look forward to fitting this book into my challenge this year as well. If I could compare Backman to another author I would say his style and message is similar to the likes of Markus Zusak (one of my top ten authors!)
If you have read a book from another continent in 2016 comment a review below or copy a link to your own post about the book in the comments below.