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.
Are you ready to get lost in your feelings? You better be if you’re picking up this book. I cried within the first 30 pages.
This is the second Fredrik Backman book that I’ve read. My first one was “A Man Called Ove” which made me cry at the end. I’m starting to think I should just be ready to cry whenever I crack open one of his novels.
I’m cool with that. His writing is beautiful and his characters are quirky.
That’s basically what this whole novel is about. It’s about being different, embracing those differences, and accepting the differences in others.
Being different is great. What even is “normal” anyway?
On the surface, ‘My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry’ is a fun and cute novel about a smartass almost-eight-year-old girl whose best, and only, friend is her granny. She loves books and fairy tales and going on journeys with her granny to the Land of Almost-Awake.
What she doesn’t realize is that The Land of Almost-Awake is a lot closer to home than it may seem.
When her granny dies, Elsa is thrust into an adventure of delivering letters to all of the people her grandmother wants to apologize to. She learns a lot of life, love, loss, and grief along the way.
This novel cuts deep. The characters are complex. It will make you feel every emotion while acting as an escape to a far away land.
‘My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry’ is an absolutely incredible read.
Memorable Quotes: “Not all monsters were monsters in the beginning. Some are monsters born of sorrow.”
“Not all monsters look like monsters. There are some that carry their monstrosity inside.”
“It’s strange how quickly the significance of a certain smell can change, depending on what path it decides to take through the brain. It’s strange how close love and fear live to each other.”
“Death’s greatest power is not that it can make people die, but that it can make people want to stop living.”