Book #56: My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry

I discovered Fredrik Backman last year and enjoyed his writing, so a friend lent me another of his novels, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry. I had not read anymore Backman because it seemed like his novels were all the same story told with different characters. But I’m so glad I read more by him; I loved this book. While he does deal with some similar themes again, this novel handles them in a very unique and creative way. Elsa is a different kind of seven-year-old whose best friend is her grandmother. Every night, they go to the Land-of-Almost-Awake where Granny tells Elsa stories about all the kingdoms and inhabitants there. Right before Granny dies, she gives Elsa a quest – to deliver her apology letters. As Elsa tries to find and deliver the letters, she begins to discover that the Land-of-Almost-Awake was not purely from Granny’s imagination – or solely for Elsa – but is a reflection of the real world and the lives of others. As Elsa begins to understand its origins, she also begins to understand the people around her better. This is such a wonderful, sweet tale about the importance of looking past the surface of others and seeing the complexity and vulnerability underneath. I also love Backman’s celebration of storytelling and imagination, and the new zany cast of characters. This book was so great and I look forward to reading more by Backman. 

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