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My grandmother asked me to tell you she's sorry : a novel / Fredrik Backman ; translation by Henning Koch.
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- Language: English
- Publication Information: New York : Atria Books, 2015.
- Publication Date: 2015
- Physical Description: 372 pages
- Publication Type: Book
- Document Type: Fiction
- Subject Terms: Grandparent and child -- Fiction; Grandmothers -- Death -- Fiction; Girls -- Fiction; Individuality -- Fiction; Fairy tales -- Fiction; Life change events -- Fiction; Domestic fiction
Booklist Reviews 2015 May #1
*Starred Review* When an almost-eight-year-old (as opposed to a more-than-seven-year-old; there's a big difference) girl loses a family member, it's a tragedy. When she loses a superhero, it's devastating. But when Elsa's grandmother dies, it's cataclysmic, for Granny was Elsa's best friend and champion, and her ability to distract Elsa from the torment of school bullies, the confusion of her parents' divorce and respective remarriages, and the impending birth of her new half-sibling catapults her to warrior status in Elsa's mind. Knowing that she's dying of cancer, Granny prepares a quest for Elsa to accomplish upon her death that draws its inspiration from the elaborate bedtime stories Granny told about the legendary kingdoms of the Land of Almost-Awake. As Elsa discovers and delivers a series of letters from Granny to other residents in their apartment building, she finds new friends and allies who collectively help fill Granny's shoes. Every bit as churlish but lovable as Backman's cantankerous protagonist in his debut, A Man Called Ove (2014), precocious Elsa will easily work her way into the hearts of readers who like characters with spunk to spare. A delectable homage to the power of stories to comfort and heal, Backman's tender tale of the touching relationship between a grandmother and granddaughter is a tribute to the everlasting bonds of deep family ties. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.
LJ Reviews 2015 February #2
An international best seller published in more than 25 languages worldwide, Backman's first novel, A Man Called Ove, got lovely reviews here that almost always used the word charming. That word will likely pop up again in reviews of his new work, featuring seven-year-old Elsa, whose affectionate but slightly off-kilter grandmother has just died. Grandma left behind a series of letters apologizing to people she wronged, and as she delivers them Elsa meets a strange assortment of kind old women, attack dogs, and nasty drunks while seeing the truth of the fairy-tale world her grandmother always depicted in bedtime stories.[Page 70]. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
LJ Reviews 2015 June #2
Precocious seven-year-old Elsa and her feisty grandmother have been inseparable her whole life, bonding over stories set in the fairy-tale-influenced Land of Almost-Awake and the Kingdom of Miamas. Yet, it's when Granny passes away that the true adventures begin. Elsa is sent on a scavenger hunt involving letters of apology from Granny to various people she wronged throughout her life. Along the way, Elsa discovers not only a unique new support system but the magic and heroism that daily life can hold. Backman (A Man Called Ove) weaves an intricate story line in which childhood folklore and life experiences fuse in unexpected ways. While the complexities of Miamas can be overwhelming, particularly at the beginning, the novel shines once Elsa's quest begins and the ties between the stories and Granny's life are revealed. VERDICT Full of heart, hope, forgiveness, and the embracing of differences, Elsa's story is one that sticks with you long after you've turned the last page. Recommended for Backman fans and readers who appreciate the power of a well-crafted fairy tale. [See Prepub Alert, 2/2/15; a June LibraryReads pick.]—Katie Lawrence, Chicago[Page 71]. (c) Copyright 2015 Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
PW Reviews 2015 April #3
Precocious Elsa, a sharp-witted seven-year-old, has only one friend, her protective, eccentric Granny, who tells her nightly bedtime fairy tales in their small apartment in the Land of Almost-Awake. But when cancer takes Granny away, Elsa is tasked with delivering her grandmother's final letters of apology to the other residents of the building—The Monster, a hulking, quiet germaphobe; Alf, a tough-talking, curmudgeonly cabbie; Britt-Marie, the nervous wife of a businessman; and others—whom she feels she mistreated during her life. Elsa proceeds through her quest, yet as she gets to know her neighbors, she discovers they all share traits and histories with characters from Granny's fairy tales. As her two worlds collide, Elsa, along with her new compatriots (including a giant dog known as a wurse), soon realize their home is actually the Land of Almost-Awake's castle, and that it needs protection from a dragon who is poised to strike. In his second offering, Backman (A Man Called Ove) continues to write with the same whimsical charm and warm heart as in his debut. Though it's certainly entertaining, Elsa's narrative—with several subplots to juggle and an overabundance of quirkiness—doesn't succeed quite as well as Backman's previous work. Still, fans of the author will find more to like here. (June)[Page ]. Copyright 2014 PWxyz LLC
I found this book quirky and odd but enjoyable. Kept my interest.
Most fun I had in a while !
This was the first book of F. Backman that I stumbled upon, and it made a memorable read ( correction: listening experience, since I used the audio book). The storytelling is honest and peels emotions to their core with the blend of candor, precociusness and curiosity of the 8 year old Elsa. Definitely recommend the audio-book for the extra color and sublety added to the land of stories.