Goodreads Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
When I saw the name, Fredrik Backman, on the shelf at the library I gasped in delight and checked out the book before I even had time to read the jacket. I had read Backman’s debut novel, A Man Called Ove, last fall and loved every page of it. Therefore, I had the same expectations for his second novel, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry.
Let me begin by suggesting that you go into reading My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry with a wide-open mind and to not give up on it within the first few chapters. The novel does take a while to get going but there are a lot of characters to introduce and multiple locations to describe. The main character is a seven (almost eight) year old girl named Elsa, who is different and understands that being different is okay. Her granny is strong-headed, wacky and wonderful in her own special way. She does what she wants and enjoys every minute of it and makes sure that Elsa is there to witness it all. Most importantly she takes Elsa to the Land-Of-Almost-Awake through her stories. Throughout the novel Elsa learns that the stories are not just fairytales but are stories about the people she has lived with all her life. When Granny dies Elsa is left on a treasure hunt to find letters Granny has left for the people who live in their flat. While delivering the letters Elsa learns about the people she lives with, her granny and herself.
As the novel progresses Backman takes you back and forth from reality to the Land-Of-Almost-Awake. He has an incredible imagination and never lets you forget it throughout the book. My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry is cute, funny, (sometimes corny) and very cleverly written.
I should also add that Backman lives in Sweden and both A Man Called Ove and My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry are set in Sweden. “Bloody” is the swear word of choice for all the characters and Elsa calls her mother “Mum”. This fact only adds to the cuteness of Backman’s novels in my opinion.