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My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry Audiobook [My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry Audio] PDF, ePub eBook

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My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry Audiobook [My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry Audio] PDF, ePub eBook Elsa is seven years old and different. Her grandmother is seventy-seven years old and crazy—as in standing-on-the-balcony-firing-paintball-guns-at-strangers 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 norm Elsa is seven years old and different. Her grandmother is seventy-seven years old and crazy—as in standing-on-the-balcony-firing-paintball-guns-at-strangers 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 instructions lead her to an apartment building full of drunks, monsters, attack dogs, and old crones but also to the truth about fairy tales and kingdoms and a grandmother like no other. My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry is told with the same comic accuracy and beating heart as Fredrik Backman’s bestselling debut novel, A Man Called Ove. It is a story about life and death and one of the most important human rights: the right to be different.

30 review for My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry Audiobook [My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry Audio]

  1. 4 out of 5

    Elyse Walters

    Brilliant... Fabulous!!!! Endearing!!! Insightful!!!! Giggles.... Chuckles.... Tears.... Crying.... (sometimes all at the same time)! Fredrik Beckman, author of "A Man Called Ove", does it again... manages not only to write a unique-charming-heartwarming novel.... but he has created extraordinary memorable characters, 'AGAIN'!!! Elsa is the greatest combinations of both her parents, and grandparents, but mostly she is unique and different. Precocious, and lovable! Grandmother is eccentric, a litt Brilliant... Fabulous!!!! Endearing!!! Insightful!!!! Giggles.... Chuckles.... Tears.... Crying.... (sometimes all at the same time)! Fredrik Beckman, author of "A Man Called Ove", does it again... manages not only to write a unique-charming-heartwarming novel.... but he has created extraordinary memorable characters, 'AGAIN'!!! Elsa is the greatest combinations of both her parents, and grandparents, but mostly she is unique and different. Precocious, and lovable! Grandmother is eccentric, a little nutty, a superhero.....both a sword and a shield. She is strong independent woman, who wants to say "I am sorry" to those she loves. Trolls, dragons, kingdoms, magical treasures, Harry Potter, ice cream, cookies, beer, cinnamon buns, cloud animals, Star Wars, and more..... The fairytales add to the enjoyment and depths of issues of the heart! The issues at heart are family bonds, Family history, reflections of the past, life lessons, love, forgiveness, acceptance, laughter. While reading this AMAZING GEM of a story...I often reflected back on my grandma Cookie! After my dad died -when I was 4yrs old- (her son, Max, was only 34), ...she and I became exceptionally close. She died when I was 7. I may have only had those 3 special years with Granda Cookie.. but they were some of my best childhood memories. After my first daughter was born... she, too, felt as though she knew her great- grandmother through stories I shared with her. Later-- she wrote a paper about her -great grandmother- from our family history. I was touched beyond words. This book is for ALL AGES!! I was so incredibly grateful to receive this book from the publisher, and Netgalley, because...I was hoping I could save myself some money. However, the opposite has happened. I need to buy at least 3 copies, (physical books), to give as gifts. The first person I can't wait to share this book with is my oldest daughter. She's going to go nuts over it. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND reading this!!!! I also suggest that if you are a grandparent... Ask your grand child how much they know about you. Encourage them to ask questions about your personal life, so that they too can be future storytellers and keep memories alive. Fairytales are not just for children!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne Ross

    This one didn't work for me. Too much story telling within the story. I found myself getting irritated with all of the names of the places in the Land of Almost Asleep. I appreciated the viewpoint of our precocious little protagonist at times, but most often found it frustrating. She could be so insightful about certain things, yet so obtuse in that we seemed to miss big chunks of the greater picture (or at least, I did). All of this sleeping in wardrobes and popping out to visit faraway lands l This one didn't work for me. Too much story telling within the story. I found myself getting irritated with all of the names of the places in the Land of Almost Asleep. I appreciated the viewpoint of our precocious little protagonist at times, but most often found it frustrating. She could be so insightful about certain things, yet so obtuse in that we seemed to miss big chunks of the greater picture (or at least, I did). All of this sleeping in wardrobes and popping out to visit faraway lands left me thinking along the lines of 'The Lion, Witch and Wardrobe.' I guess I was hoping for another sweet read having just come off 'Ove', but this was not to be. There's much more I could say here, but why go on? There are more books to read!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Angela M

    4+ Stars At the heart of the story is a seven year old girl without friends, an outsider in her school who is loved deeply by her cantankerous , seventy-seven year old grandmother. I was taken by Elsa and her grandmother from the very beginning. It's the story of the beautiful legacy that a grandmother leaves her granddaughter. Granny may seem crazy but she is such a very loving grandmother to Elsa that the things she does while they seem crazy , can be so easily forgiven by the reader once her s 4+ Stars At the heart of the story is a seven year old girl without friends, an outsider in her school who is loved deeply by her cantankerous , seventy-seven year old grandmother. I was taken by Elsa and her grandmother from the very beginning. It's the story of the beautiful legacy that a grandmother leaves her granddaughter. Granny may seem crazy but she is such a very loving grandmother to Elsa that the things she does while they seem crazy , can be so easily forgiven by the reader once her story unfolds and you see what a good person and really a humanitarian she is . Granny does all she can to help Elsa through a hard time . Her parents are divorced and her mother and new partner are expecting a baby but worst of all Elsa is having a rough time at school . She has no friends and is constantly bullied. Granny gives this lonely little girl the gift of love and friendship and teaches her to cope by giving her a fairytale world in the Land-of-Almost -Awake. It captivated me at first but then I couldn't keep up with the details of the characters and the rules of this complex kingdom. But at some point I understood better who these characters were and just went with the flow because what is divulged about Granny's past will make you love her in spite of everything . There is a cast of characters living in the same apartment house and at first you think you know who they are , but then their complex stories and connections are told as the story progresses . The author has cleverly , actually very creatively, woven their stories together and we learn that they have more in common than the same address . Their stories will break your heart . I have to admit at times , I was not into the fairytale but once I got what the stories were really about , I saw it in a different light . The precocious Elsa is definitely beyond her years but it was hard at times to believe that a 7 year old would be as wise and knowing about people as she was . She's so smart and astute that you sometimes forget she's only seven until we see the insecurities and vulnerabilities of a seven year old dealing with her parents' divorce, confronting grief and death and her anxiety over having a half brother or sister and fear that she won't be loved as much . This may not be for everyone but if you loved A Man Called Ove , although a different story , you will find the same humanity here with imperfections, vulnerabilities and triumphs of spirit . This is about a little girl and fairytale but this is definitely a book for grownup kids . Thank you Atria (Simon & Schuster) and Edelweiss.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    I love this authors books! And there was some Britt-Marie!! I know I spelled that wrong. I listened to the audio from the library instead of reading my books as I'm trying to beat the clock. Hopefully I will come back around to all the books I'm reading at this time and do them justice!! Absolutely loved it! Happy Reading!! Mel 🖤🐾🐺

  5. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    I almost didn't give this book a star rating at all. As I listened to it I couldn't really figure out if I like it or not. It has shades of books I cannot stand and shades of books I love. In the end, I couldn't bring myself to leave the star rating blank, but I am not sure you can trust my experience to match the experience you might have. I have loved the other Backman books I have read: A Man Called Ove and Beartown. Because of this I went into this with high expectations. While this has some I almost didn't give this book a star rating at all. As I listened to it I couldn't really figure out if I like it or not. It has shades of books I cannot stand and shades of books I love. In the end, I couldn't bring myself to leave the star rating blank, but I am not sure you can trust my experience to match the experience you might have. I have loved the other Backman books I have read: A Man Called Ove and Beartown. Because of this I went into this with high expectations. While this has some similarities to A Man Called Ove, it is definitely a very different book. While Ove is a fairly straightforward story, this one ventured back and forth from reality to make believe that I found a little bit hard to stay interested in. I mention make believe, and at times this book ventures into the realm of magical realism. Usually my experience with magical realism is a positive one, but I did not care for it much here. I think the reason might be that it frequently reminded me of Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane, which I didn't care for at all. So, if you are a fan of that book, you may enjoy this one, too. I did like all the different characters and exploring all of their personalities. I think this is the biggest thing that carried over from Backman's other stories. Each person is a side story unto themselves and it is fun watching their tales all get woven together. In the end, I cannot say for sure if I recommend this one or not. If you liked other Backman books, don't go in expecting the same. If you are a fan of fairy tales, you might like it. If you don't like odd stories that stray a bit from reality, this is not the book for you.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Margitte

    Children's characters, such as Pippi Longstocking, and Sophie of Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder , comes to mind, reading this book. Seven-year-old Elsa was a good combination of the two. Wild, naive, and philosophical. Precocious, brattish and different. Elsa knew very well what grown-ups meant when they described her as 'very grown-up for her age'. What they actually meant was 'she is massively annoying for her age', which they directed at her parents with strained smiles spread all over t Children's characters, such as Pippi Longstocking, and Sophie of Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder , comes to mind, reading this book. Seven-year-old Elsa was a good combination of the two. Wild, naive, and philosophical. Precocious, brattish and different. Elsa knew very well what grown-ups meant when they described her as 'very grown-up for her age'. What they actually meant was 'she is massively annoying for her age', which they directed at her parents with strained smiles spread all over their faces. They treated her as though she was mentally impaired. All she did was correct their spelling, or something similar. What was so wrong with that, I beg you? She was not as thick as other seven-year-olds. Her extraordinary intelligence counted against her. Her parents were divorced. They were both living in new blended families. Her mother was pregnant again with Halfie (half-sister or brother); George, the step-dad, could prepare eggs and jog, and loved wearing his jogging shorts over his leggings; Her dad lost touch with reality along time ago when he fell in love with fonts. The chances of him delivering any graphic designs on time is zero. The choice of fonts prevented him from finishing anything. Otherwise, he found happiness with Lizette and her two young children. Elsa felt threatened by the new baby, and lost in her dad's new life. Her grandmother was a dysfunctional superhero in Elsa's world. A retired, 77-year-old doctor, who triggered the smoke-alarms at the airports with her smoking in the ladie's room with an open door; was asked to retire after refusing to stop smoking in the operating theater; spilled Fanta on Elsa's iPhone and tried to dry it out in the toaster; climb fences at the zoo in the middle of the night; threw policemen with turds; traveled all over the world to save lives when everyone else was rushing to get out and away from dire war situations. Creating fairy tale-metaphors for little Elsa, was her grandmother's way of teaching the hard realities of life in story form to the little girl without friends. Nobody understood this bright child, not even the teachers and headmaster at school, where she was constantly bullied. Her busy parents did not know what was happening to her. Granny knew, and taught Elsa how to handle it through the fairy tales. Elsa learnt to run. Run very fast. She learnt to observe everything. She learnt to read and write properly. Grandma expected of her to read books to her while grandma drove her ancient rusting Renault around town, without a driver's license. Grandma could not spell. Almost-eight-year-old Elsa constantly had to correct granny's writing for her! Elsa started correcting everyone's writing. Even the notices at restaurants. She had Granny, Harry Potter, Wikipedia and Google at her disposal to get what she wanted. The words she did not understand, was added to her dad's word jar. Elsa was born on boxing day. Her story was a Christmas Story. And this tale, "My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry", was also going to be one. ... 'Storytelling is the noblest profession of all. The currency there is imagination; instead of buying something with coins you buy it with a good story. Libraries aren’t known as libraries but as ‘banks’ and every fairy tale is worth a fortune.'That was what grandma believed. Who was Elsa to disagree. "A normal story can either be funny or sad or exciting or scary or dramatic or sentimental, but a Christmas tale has to be all those things. “A Christmas tale has to be written with every pen you own,” Granny used to say. And they have to have happy endings, which is something that Elsa has decided completely on her own." Granny's fairy tales from Miamas was fairly dramatic as a rule. Wars and storms an pursuits and intrigues and stuff, because that was the sort of action stories that Granny liked. Grandma created different kingdoms in the Land-of-Almost-Awake: Miploris. That’s where all the sorrow is stored. It means “I mourn.” “And Mirevas?” “I dream.” “And Miaudacas?” “I dare.” “And Mimovas?” “Dance. I dance.” “Mibatalos—I fight." But the unimaginable happened just before Christmas. Grandma died of cancer. Elsa lost her only friend. What was it about death that was so devastating? "The mightiest power of death is not that it can make people die, but that it can make the people left behind want to stop living"… However, grandma taught Elsa that life does not really end with the passing of a beloved. "You never say good-bye in the Land-of-Almost-Awake. You just say “See you later.” It’s important to people in the Land-of-Almost-Awake that it should be this way, because they believe that nothing really ever completely dies. It just turns into a story, undergoes a little shift in grammar, changes tense from “now” to “then.” She left a set of letters behind which would merged Elsa's two worlds. She would be introduced to the real people who were characters in the fairy tales, and who would open up a big world of possibilities to the seven-year-old heartbroken little girl. All the people living in their big old building had a story to tell, relationships to explain, history to be completed, and a communal love for her grandma to be celebrated. The treasure hunt unleashed in the letters, would bring closure to everyone mentioned or addressed in the letters. They were cranky, quirky, mysterious, dysfunctional or simply strange. As each letter is delivered, more color, as well as a mysterious danger, is added to this Christmas tale. Britt-Marie, one of the busybody neighbors who would have been a perfect murder victim in a Inspector Poirot murder mystery, had everyone up in arms with her nosy interference. But when she received her letter from grandma, she had an important lesson to teach to Elsa. ……We want to be loved,’ ” quotes Britt-Marie. “‘Failing that, admired; failing that, feared; failing that, hated and despised. At all costs we want to stir up some sort of feeling in others. The soul abhors a vacuum. At all costs it longs for contact.’ ” .... "I want someone to remember I existed. I want someone to know I was here.” Grandma's letters turned the building and its inhabitants upside down. Life was changed for all of them. I was bowled over when I discovered, after finishing the book, that it was written by the author of A Man Called Ove . Yes, I know I was a bit dimwitted. But just remember, it is every single person's undeniable right to make a fool of him/herself, and I am exercising that right by admitting this here! By saying this I admit being in total cohorts with Grandma in the story. I not only liked her; I recognized her as a soulmate! Apart from that, the surprise was wonderful. A Man Called Ove was one of my all-time favorite books, still is. This book, with a quirky, lovable, eccentric, unique cast of characters; its cheeky sense of humor; social commentary and tongue in cheek approach to the absurdities of 'Society', combined with fairy tales in the Harry Potter zeitgeist, kept me cemented to the plot and pathos of an extraordinary as well as entertaining story, written by a highly talented author. If you loved Ove, you might love shrewd, intelligent, wise, cranky, funny as hell Grandma too. You will recognize the humor and daring thoughts at play. VERY IMPORTANT: You do need a sense of humor and a huge imagination to let this book work for you. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Susan Crowe

    Ok, after a good night sleep, I can tell how I feel about this book. I don't think I've ever read a book that had me feeling so many emotions AT ONE TIME. There were times I was LMAO with tears rolling down my face. Once, towards the end, I was sobbing so hard, I was afraid my husband would hear me in the next room. AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME book!!!!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrick Backman is a 2015 Atria publication. I read “Britt-Marie was Here” a while back and really liked it. It was suggested to me several times that I should go back and read this book because Brit-Marie is a secondary character here and this book is a segue into BMWH. I am glad I was gently nudged to read this book and I couldn’t have chosen a better time to read this one. After having read several books in a row with melancholy themes, this My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrick Backman is a 2015 Atria publication. I read “Britt-Marie was Here” a while back and really liked it. It was suggested to me several times that I should go back and read this book because Brit-Marie is a secondary character here and this book is a segue into BMWH. I am glad I was gently nudged to read this book and I couldn’t have chosen a better time to read this one. After having read several books in a row with melancholy themes, this book brightened my mood significantly. That is not to say this book is fluffy, because it’s not. There are plenty poignant and emotional moments expertly woven into this humorous and whimsical story which features a precocious seven -year old girl named Elsa. Every seven -year old deserves a superhero. For Elsa that is her seventy-seven year old grandmother who regales her with stories that become like a secret communication between them. Her grandmother always comes to defense, is always in her corner, something Elsa desperately needs because she is a little different. This, of course, sets her up for a great deal of bullying at school, and causes her mother a good deal of exasperation at times. But, when her grandmother dies, Elsa is left to cope with her parent’s divorce, her mother’s pregnancy, and her issues at school without her staunch supporter. Elsa is not only sad, but is also angry that her grandmother has abandoned her. But, via a series of apology letters her grandmother wrote to various people she felt she had wronged, Elsa is sent on an adventurous journey that will enlighten her, challenge her perception of her beloved grandmother, and change the dynamics of her relationship with her mother and other family members, opening a door towards forgiveness and acceptance. Elsa stole my heart, as was intended. I enjoy seeing children portrayed as trailblazers in a way, because they refuse to give in to conformity. Elsa doesn’t do this as an intentional rebellion, though. She is who she is and her ‘crazy grandmother’ encourages her. Elsa’s love of Wikipedia is hilarious at times, but it’s her fondness for Harry Potter books that was so telling. That she related to those characters, is a testament to how stories and books can offer relief and comfort, as well as influence and teach. While the characters are quirky and eccentric, the story has a slightly sinister undertone, because Elsa is afraid of ‘The monster’ which is more than just a part of her imagination and fairytales. But overall this is a story of family and its complexities and mysteries, the regrets and mistakes, and triumphs and sacrifices made over the course of a lifetime, atonement, understanding, forgiveness, and embracing individuality. I was thoroughly entertained by this novel, and enjoyed experiencing the wealth of and range of emotions and it evoked. This is a delightful story, full of charm and hope!!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Luffy

    This has been on my shelf since 2017. It's about time I read it. There is a strong vibe of C.S. Lewis and his Wardrobe. There are ideas copied from Roald Dahl likewise. I still think the book is very polished. Elsa is 7 years old and her only friend is her grandmother. What happens to them and why the title is so? Read the book and find out for yourselves. There have been moments when I didn't want to take the book and read. But then there have been instances where I couldn't put the book down. Th This has been on my shelf since 2017. It's about time I read it. There is a strong vibe of C.S. Lewis and his Wardrobe. There are ideas copied from Roald Dahl likewise. I still think the book is very polished. Elsa is 7 years old and her only friend is her grandmother. What happens to them and why the title is so? Read the book and find out for yourselves. There have been moments when I didn't want to take the book and read. But then there have been instances where I couldn't put the book down. The non magical bits are stark, if not outright somber. In the end the author tries to distance himself from Dahl and Lewis, and succeeds in that too.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Seemita

    [Originally appeared here (with edits): http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/li...] Ah! What have I read here? A delightful take on life? A sensitive take on grief? A wise take on relationships? Perhaps all of it. And more. At the centre of this book, is an almost-eight-years old, Elsa. When her best (and quirky) friend, her grandmother, leaves her a series of letters upon her death to be delivered to their intended receivers, she sets onto a thrilling journey of discoveries. What was the primary pu [Originally appeared here (with edits): http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/li...] Ah! What have I read here? A delightful take on life? A sensitive take on grief? A wise take on relationships? Perhaps all of it. And more. At the centre of this book, is an almost-eight-years old, Elsa. When her best (and quirky) friend, her grandmother, leaves her a series of letters upon her death to be delivered to their intended receivers, she sets onto a thrilling journey of discoveries. What was the primary purpose of the letters you ask? You guessed it. To say sorry. Among Elsa's neighbours are eccentric chatterboxes and drunken workaholics, weird hounds and mysterious lurkers. Her mother is her punch-bag over teen issues (if Elsa can be called a teen that is) and her Dad is her word collector who can stand everything except a grammatically incorrect sentence. Well, mostly. Wading through this motley hoard of people, Elsa embarks on a voyage of her own, fumbling on realities at every step and growing wiser with every revelation. Reading quality literature like the Harry Potter series comes handy. And so does listening to (and reminiscing) Granny's fairy tales. After all, she is the Knight in the Land-of-Almost-Awake! Backman’s heart-warming army conquered me in no time. He possesses a deceptively easy style of narration but one is taken aback by the substance he packs in his one-liners. Never mess with someone who has more spare time than you do. Its strange how close love and fear live to each other. It appears as if Backman leaned on many a poles and watched people battle their demons in routine life - just how some transformed into the fiercest warriors under chaotic spells but were sorely defeated by the toothless, simple, predictable plateau of life. And why everyone, irrespective of their positions on the axis of life, needed attention. We want to be loved; failing that, admired; failing that, feared; failing that, hated and despised. At all costs, we want to stir up some sort of feeling in others. Our soul abhors a vacuum. The strength of Backman's narrative rests on his seamless switching between hilarity and sombreness, keeping the sensibilities of his characters away from dilution. So when a child and a war soldier look at the same issue and engage in a long discussion, their respective identities and backgrounds stand beside them like faithful sentries. That both can still reach a common ground is the beauty of this book. This work is a magnificent ode to humanity and the many virtues that guard it from losing its sheen. It's a subtle but strong call to dream, to imagine, to protect, to persevere, to sing, to dance, to fly, to fall yet to stand, to encourage, to fight for the right cause, to love, to forgive; in other words, to live. Nothing is a shame, even believing in superheroes, if it eventually adds up to the good in this world.

  11. 5 out of 5

    ☮Karen

    This was a tough one to bear after loving Ove sooooo much. Sure, I liked Elsa well enough, 7 going on 8, and Granny was pretty amazing, but the constant reverting to fairytale land made this such a disappointment for me, I was ready to ditch it several times. There was a story to be told but with too many distractions; too many things to NOT like along the way. On the audio, read with a nice British accent, I couldn't be sure of any spellings (or obviously of my hearing); so please bear with me This was a tough one to bear after loving Ove sooooo much. Sure, I liked Elsa well enough, 7 going on 8, and Granny was pretty amazing, but the constant reverting to fairytale land made this such a disappointment for me, I was ready to ditch it several times. There was a story to be told but with too many distractions; too many things to NOT like along the way. On the audio, read with a nice British accent, I couldn't be sure of any spellings (or obviously of my hearing); so please bear with me here while I complain. And upfront I tell you who loved this book that I am sorry. Because I did not. The Kingdom of Miamas I swear sounded to me like Myalis, which sounds like a prescription drug for erectile dysfunction in my non-fantasy world. The animal which I guess was just a big dog but never called a dog sounded like it was called a Worse or Worser (reminding me of Wrong and Wronger ala Alec Baldwin). After digging around some, I find it was Wurse and Wurses, but I don't think that's an actual word. This dog/Wurse was constantly being fed chocolate, which is actually quite dangerous for our furry friends and should not be encouraged. Very dangerous. Little Elsa, 7 going on 8, was more like 7 going on 17. Much too smart and worldly for 7 going on 8, no matter how much she used Wikipedia. There were many little similarities with Ove's story, but copying from a previous success does not another success make. I think this should have been marketed to kids around 7 going on 8, so it would never have crossed my path. But then looking at everyone else's ratings, there's something definitely wrong with me and most likely my hearing. 2.5 stars

  12. 5 out of 5

    Phrynne

    I seem to have ageist issues with this author's books. In A Man Called Ove the main character was in his fifties and acted like a man of 85. In this book the main character is seven and acts as if she is 17. However if I ignore that I did enjoy the story and found it to be a light, entertaining read, not quite as interesting as Ove, but still okay.

  13. 4 out of 5

    James

    I am usually good at knowing my ability to read a book in a genre other than ones I normally read. I'm not much of a fantasy or science-fiction guy. I loved Harry Potter, The Time Machine, Lord of the Rings, and Thursday Next, but when there's a lot of room for wiggle in the structure, I'm less inclined to like it. It could be an amazing book, but it just doesn't work for me as I question the boundaries and the influx of species I don't understand. I never expected to find that in a Fredrik Back I am usually good at knowing my ability to read a book in a genre other than ones I normally read. I'm not much of a fantasy or science-fiction guy. I loved Harry Potter, The Time Machine, Lord of the Rings, and Thursday Next, but when there's a lot of room for wiggle in the structure, I'm less inclined to like it. It could be an amazing book, but it just doesn't work for me as I question the boundaries and the influx of species I don't understand. I never expected to find that in a Fredrik Backman novel... I read four of his others and just went on a splurge to order copies of everything he'd written. When I perused the description for My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry, I went "uh oh" but continued on. About ten percent in, I knew I was going to struggle. It's not a fantasy book, but at least 50% of the story is based on metaphors and allegories where Backman tells us about the relationships of a kooky cast of characters who share residence in a large building full of apartments. Elsa is the 7-turning-8-year-old main character who's been given a series of notes from her recently deceased and supposedly crazy grandmother. Through Elsa's eyes, and her grandmother's imagination, we learn some history and some current happenings that tie everything together. Her grandmother created a fantasy world of people and places to help teach Elsa a different way of looking at the world both near and afar. In many aspects, the story is hilarious and adorable. When it sticks to real-life situations, I laugh and cry. When it tries to show the theory of how people relate to one another thru made-up places and monsters, I'm lost. It's a bit of an immediate thing.... I hear/see the words about another creature or planet, and something sinks inside me. In movies, I love it. But in books, I usually do not. I also struggled at times because of the simplicity in some of the writing. While Elsa's vocabulary is quite skillful, and her ways of dealing with people are more mature than most adults I know, the short and terse structure at times overwhelmed the plot for me. So... my lesson is to be careful when going on a binge to read all the works from an author you love. While this hasn't caused me to drop my opinion of Backman, it made me realize a story needs to work on all levels and elements to truly move or impact me. In this one, the fantasy took me out of the normal love I have for Backman's style and character development to the point I found myself skimming way too often. I committed to reading it, and I did, but I probably only digested about 2/3 of the content because it just wasn't keeping my attention. I'm still gonna read more of his work and recommend him to others. Just not this book unless the reader is unlike me and loves the fantasy components. Given the good parts were a 5 for me, and the bad parts were a 1 for me, I settled on allotting 3 stars which in my world is still a good book. I recognize the skill and talent enough to say it's a solid read with a select audience. Kudos to anyone who loved it, I wish I could be more open-minded in some of the genres I don't often find interesting. Maybe one day!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Brian

    “I want someone to know I was here.” This is the second Fredrik Backman novel I have read. I will read others I am sure. “My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry” is a sentimental tale, with a 7 (almost 8) year old protagonist whose sardonic voice is a real joy to read. The novel suffers from a slow start. There is a fairy tale device that is interweaved into the narrative that never fully grabbed me, and it took me most of the book to buy into it. Other readers I know jumped right into th “I want someone to know I was here.” This is the second Fredrik Backman novel I have read. I will read others I am sure. “My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry” is a sentimental tale, with a 7 (almost 8) year old protagonist whose sardonic voice is a real joy to read. The novel suffers from a slow start. There is a fairy tale device that is interweaved into the narrative that never fully grabbed me, and it took me most of the book to buy into it. Other readers I know jumped right into that aspect of the text. To each his own, right? However, the last half of the book I thought was strong narratively, things started to fall into place for me with the fairy tale device, and from that point on I was fully in. The author uses redundancies to excellent effect in this book. The redundancies alternate between being humorous and reinforcing thematic textual points, and sometimes they do both at the same time. They were well executed, and using redundancy without being annoying is a nice hat trick that Backman pulls off in fine manner. As mentioned previously, the child protagonist Elsa is also an engaging character to read, as Backman infuses her with observations well out of a 7 year old grasp while still writing her as a believable child. “My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry” is a sentimental and beautiful story. A cynic would call it trite, and perhaps it is trite, but this line from the text kind of makes my point for me, “Stories were completely for real, and at the same time not.” That encapsulates this book in a nutshell. This novel may be simple, but it is beautiful and profound more often than not, and for those reasons alone (not to mention a story that is clever and engaging and writing that is good) should make it worth your time to read.

  15. 4 out of 5

    emma

    Remember how I read this book? Because I sure don’t. What stands out in my mind is that I was able to finish this book when I was finishing literally zero books. But like...don’t let that make you think it was easy. It was Not. Every page I read was a gargantuan effort. Most of this got done by me literally spending one (1) entire evening reading this book. And I only did it because I told someone I was going to be spending my night reading, and that made me feel pressured to do so. I do not hate Remember how I read this book? Because I sure don’t. What stands out in my mind is that I was able to finish this book when I was finishing literally zero books. But like...don’t let that make you think it was easy. It was Not. Every page I read was a gargantuan effort. Most of this got done by me literally spending one (1) entire evening reading this book. And I only did it because I told someone I was going to be spending my night reading, and that made me feel pressured to do so. I do not hate this book. Neither do I love it, or like it a whole lot. Or even like it a little bit. It just...exists. I get what it was going for. And it’s admirable. It’s supposed to be all imagination-y, and isn’t-childhood-cool, and family is important and let’s all love each other and smile. But it was mostly just really boring. All the characters were bland. And sometimes it went too far on the imagination front. And on the redeeming-characters front. (Not everybody is awesome, okay?!) Also, this little girl (the main character) is a haaaaaater. (That’s literally a reference to a specific episode of a specific podcast I listened to today. In unrelated news, I am the biggest loser on the entire earth.) Like, every kid is a sh*tbag in her mind. I JUST DON’T LIKE THAT. If you’re going to redeem a weird, semi-neglectful grandmother and a guy who is literally called the Monster, maybe there can be a kid or two who doesn’t full-on suck? But hey. What do I know. Plus I normally really like reading Scandinavian-translated books (I am the worst) because I like the way it sounds when it’s English-ized. It still holds a nice poetic effect. But I didn’t get that from this? Maybe because the little-girl-main-character speaks English a lot. Dunno. Didn’t like it. I have really pressed the boundaries of how much I can talk about this book, so… Bottom line: It’s okay. Whatever. Read it if you feel like it? Who cares about anything. ----------------- I FINISHED A BOOOOOOOOOK!!!! and it was...good? it was fine. we'll talk about it. review to come

  16. 4 out of 5

    Annet

    Review to follow. Took me some time to get past a let's say 3.2 rating. The final chapters pushed me over 3.5. Heartwarming story about families and people living in one house and specifically a little girl and her grandmother. Sometimes the story dragged on a bit, the fairytaleworld stories did not really appeal to me. Grandma is hilarious. Thinking about this... Author is talented for sure. A man called Ove was a stronger story for me. I am looking forward to Bear Town, which seems like a grea Review to follow. Took me some time to get past a let's say 3.2 rating. The final chapters pushed me over 3.5. Heartwarming story about families and people living in one house and specifically a little girl and her grandmother. Sometimes the story dragged on a bit, the fairytaleworld stories did not really appeal to me. Grandma is hilarious. Thinking about this... Author is talented for sure. A man called Ove was a stronger story for me. I am looking forward to Bear Town, which seems like a great one.... 'Alf says it's lucky he turned out to be a boy, because the women in our family are 'so bonkers they're a safety hazard', she chuckles....

  17. 5 out of 5

    Emily May

    I may write a full review at a later date, but this book just didn't contain the magic that A Man Called Ove had. It is narrated from the perspective of a seven year-old girl who is precocious to the point of being unbelievable. Backman's talent lies in creating witty, cynical, elderly characters, which he should stick to because there really are so few books centred around older men and women. However, after Elsa's grandmother dies (near the beginning), the book quickly lost its sparkle.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Maxwell

    Fredrik Backman is truly a wonderful storyteller. He creates such unique and fun characters and puts them into such endearing, heartwarming stories. I grew to love Elsa and her grandmother, along with Alf, George, The Monster and the wurse—and Britt-Marie, who is the main character in another of his novels! This story itself was very similar to one of my favorite books, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, which was a bit strange. I didn't realize until near the end how very similar the two stor Fredrik Backman is truly a wonderful storyteller. He creates such unique and fun characters and puts them into such endearing, heartwarming stories. I grew to love Elsa and her grandmother, along with Alf, George, The Monster and the wurse—and Britt-Marie, who is the main character in another of his novels! This story itself was very similar to one of my favorite books, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, which was a bit strange. I didn't realize until near the end how very similar the two stories are. But Backman's writing is so different than Foer's that this story is absolutely still worth reading.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

    For all it made me feel, I declared Fredrik Backman's debut novel, A Man Called Ove my favourite book of 2014 and My Grandmother Asked me to Tell You She's Sorry is now my favourite of 2015. Elsa is an improbably precocious but utterly adorable seven year old girl who loves her grandmother, Harry Potter and Wikipedia, in that order. Bullied at school, Granny is Elsa's best and only friend, her guide to the Land-of-Almost-Awake, a dreamscape of fairy tales, magic and adventure that comforts them b For all it made me feel, I declared Fredrik Backman's debut novel, A Man Called Ove my favourite book of 2014 and My Grandmother Asked me to Tell You She's Sorry is now my favourite of 2015. Elsa is an improbably precocious but utterly adorable seven year old girl who loves her grandmother, Harry Potter and Wikipedia, in that order. Bullied at school, Granny is Elsa's best and only friend, her guide to the Land-of-Almost-Awake, a dreamscape of fairy tales, magic and adventure that comforts them both when life is difficult, and her very own superhero. She shouldn't take any notice of what those muppets think, says Granny. Because all the best people are different - look at superheroes." Just before Granny dies she presses an envelope into Elsa's hand, and asks her granddaughter to deliver a letter. "Give the letter to him who's waiting. He won't want to accept it, but tell him it's from me. Tell him your granny sends her regards and says she's sorry" And so begins Elsa's adventure, part quest, part treasure hunt, part superhero mission, Granny's letter leads Elsa first to the door of a wurse, and then The Monster (also known as Wolfheart), another letter leads her to the Sea-Witch and yet another much later to the Princess of Miploris. With each letter, offering apologies and regrets, Elsa unravels the truth about the fairy tales that form the foundation of the Land-of-Almost-Awake, and the secrets of her grandmother's exceptional life. "Elsa doesn’t know if this means that Granny took all her stories from the real world and placed them in Miamas, or if the stories from Miamas became so real that the creatures came across to the real world. But the Land-of-Almost-Awake and her house are obviously merging." In My Grandmother Asked me to Tell You She's Sorry, Backman weaves a creative tapestry of the ordinary together with the extraordinary. Characters that are real, flawed yet magnificent, or as Granny puts it, "no one is entirely a sh*t and almost no one is entirely not a sh*t". It tells a story that is both wise and insightful, absurd and wondrous as it explores the themes of grief, love, difference, connection, regrets and forgiveness. Funny, moving, heartfelt and inspiring, it made me laugh and cry. Not five stars but ten... at least!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    I have finally finished all of Fredrik Backmans books! #mygrandmotheraskedmetotellyoushessorry and it was an adorable and whimsical read. . It’s not my favorite of Backmans books but none the less enjoyable. Be on the lookout in a couple of weeks for a whole video about Fredrik Backmans books and my favorites!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    I jumped on this one because of the strength of “A Man Called Ove”, which is about a depressed old curmudgeon sparked into living again by an odd and multicultural set of neighbors. But then I learn it’s about a precocious Swedish girl at seven going on eight and some kind of fairy-tale quest guided by letters from her grandmother. I start to put up resistance and read along with a chip in my shoulder. Not to worry. We don’t wallow in cuteness here, and there are a series of real life mysteries I jumped on this one because of the strength of “A Man Called Ove”, which is about a depressed old curmudgeon sparked into living again by an odd and multicultural set of neighbors. But then I learn it’s about a precocious Swedish girl at seven going on eight and some kind of fairy-tale quest guided by letters from her grandmother. I start to put up resistance and read along with a chip in my shoulder. Not to worry. We don’t wallow in cuteness here, and there are a series of real life mysteries to keep you on your toes. Young Elsa makes a perfect team with her grandmother to put the adult world in its place. Granny takes care of her all the times her mother is gone running a hospital’s finances. Granny is anti-social and hates any kind of rules or pretense, which often gets her in trouble. Such as the time they snuck out to the zoo at night and were caught by the police climbing over the fence. She helps Elsa fight back when she is bullied at school and helps her see through and deflate all the shenanigans the adults in their apartment building are up to. Together they make up stories to put a better spin on the world. Eventually, they have a world of five kingdoms in the Land-of-Almost-Awake, each with a special logic and sphere for heroic action. Somehow this imaginary haven is more relevant the tales of the X-Men or Harry Potter which she thrives on. When her grandmother is no longer around, Elsa gets tapped to deliver a series of letters to various people in her building, and she is compelled to find out the secrets behind why there is a message of apology to all of them. There are surprising connections to the fairy tales invented for each of the kingdoms. As a little tantalizer, the kingdom of Miamas is founded on storytelling, one of which deals with snow angels who sacrificed themselves saving the kingdom from a giant tidal wave. Elsa has heard her birth came at a time of the massive tsunami which killed many thousands in the Pacific, and she is surprised to learn Granny’s work as a surgeon involved service to people in such trouble spots. There is quite a system Granny has invented for the relationships between kingdoms: the dream hunters from Mirevas, the sorrow-keepers from Miploris, the musicians from Mimovas, and the warriors of Mibatalos. As Elsa’s quest verges between comic and dangerous, Elsa gets some help from a big dog she has to hide, a giant man of few words she calls Wolfheart, and a taxi driver who may know more about the secrets than he will reveal. In the end my doubts about this tale were finally left behind and I was glad for the imaginative adventure and amazing mix of humor, human truth, and redemption of damaged souls. This book was provided as an e-book by the publisher through the Netgalley program.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Hamad

    This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book Prescription “Having a grandmother is like having an army. This is a grandchild’s ultimate privilege: knowing that someone is on your side, always, whatever the details. Even when you are wrong. Especially then, in fact. A grandmother is both a sword and a shield.” 🌟 This concludes my journey of reading all Mr. Backman’s books this year and it has been a wild ride. I actually kept this for the last because I thought it would be my This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book Prescription “Having a grandmother is like having an army. This is a grandchild’s ultimate privilege: knowing that someone is on your side, always, whatever the details. Even when you are wrong. Especially then, in fact. A grandmother is both a sword and a shield.” 🌟 This concludes my journey of reading all Mr. Backman’s books this year and it has been a wild ride. I actually kept this for the last because I thought it would be my favorite but unfortunately it wasn’t. 🌟 Backman is a great author when it comes to elderly quirky characters and judging from his more recent works he expanded that to writing books that include the whole community such as (Beartown and Us against you) which were my favorites. I also read his short stories and sadly didn’t enjoy them, I said it before and I repeat it; Backman is a great contemporary author but he should keep into that and not venture into fantasy. 🌟 His writing is just so relatable, so close to my heart and I easily gets into his stories. His stories are realistic and emotional and delivers the whole bunch. That’s why I am saying that I don’t like the fantasy parts, He uses a lot of metaphors and comparisons between the fantasy world (That Elsa and Her Grandma shares) and the real world to send a message but he did it in his other works without this and it was better. 🌟 I like the characters that he portrays, they are always memorable, I liked that Britt Marie was in this book too and we get glimpses into her past. All the characters were lovely in their own way but I had a problem with Elsa who was too precocious, I think she should have been at least 10 years old. I don’t usually care about ages in stories because most characters are precocious but Elsa seemed like a prodigy and wasn’t convincing for me. 🌟 Summary: This is a good book -It is written by Backman after all- which has great writing and unique characters as usual. There was a mix between a fantasy story and a real one, I expected a more emotional read but didn’t get that. This was Backman’s second book after his widely successful “A Man Called Ove” so it must have been hard, I like that he develops a more distinct voice as he writes and this was part of his journey. “Only different people change the world,” Granny used to say. “No one normal has ever changed a crapping thing.”

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kavita

    I read Backman's first book, A Man Called Ove, and found it a short and delightful read. My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry only has slight glimpses of what Backman is capable. It certainly lacks the charm of his first book. There is a large cast of characters, each with their own stories and each drawn very sharply, and most important, each is weird in their own specific manner. Elsa, the protagonist, is a seven year old child, who behaves like a 17 year old frustrated teen. She is I read Backman's first book, A Man Called Ove, and found it a short and delightful read. My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry only has slight glimpses of what Backman is capable. It certainly lacks the charm of his first book. There is a large cast of characters, each with their own stories and each drawn very sharply, and most important, each is weird in their own specific manner. Elsa, the protagonist, is a seven year old child, who behaves like a 17 year old frustrated teen. She is 'special' and hence gets bullied at school and has no friends. Her grandmother is her only friend but she dies of cancer, leaving Elsa to get on with a treasure hunt, which would lead her to uncover the stories of the weirdos living in the building. In parallel, we get stories from The Land of Almost Awake, a fantasy creation of Elsa's grandmother to draw her away from her tough life and keep her entertained. It is here that I completely lost interest. The fairy tale stories simply dragged on and on and were not interesting in the least. Elsa discovers that the fairy tales ultimately tied up to the stories of the other characters in the book, but this doesn't make them any more readable. I just skimmed through entire pages and have no clue what was going on in the make-believe land. Elsa herself is slightly annoying. She is supposed to be very bright for her age, but really, some of the things she does and says is simply annoying. She screams at people and constantly corrects them, which annoyed the heck out of me. And no matter how smart you think your child is, you don't allow her to drive a car! That was just weird. What kind of irresponsible people are these? Granny was even more annoying and really shouldn't have been looking after a child. Can I reiterate I hate child narrators / protagonists? Another thing that put me off the book was 'the boy with the syndrome'. Yes, that was his full name and he was constantly referred to as such continuously. I consider this unacceptable! The actual story emerging from this mess was quite interesting and had scope, but I had to plod through pages and pages of inconsequential and annoying fairy tales and precocious kids to get to the point.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Malia

    “One day at a time. One dream at a time. And one could say it’s right and one could say it’s wrong. And probably both would be right. Because life is both complicated and simple. Which is why there are cookies.” ― Fredrik Backman, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry I really loved this book! I was inclined to like it because Britt-Marie Was Here left such an impression, but I honestly can't say now which of the two books I liked better! Backman is definitely an author I will keep my e “One day at a time. One dream at a time. And one could say it’s right and one could say it’s wrong. And probably both would be right. Because life is both complicated and simple. Which is why there are cookies.” ― Fredrik Backman, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry I really loved this book! I was inclined to like it because Britt-Marie Was Here left such an impression, but I honestly can't say now which of the two books I liked better! Backman is definitely an author I will keep my eye on. My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry is a tremendously imaginative, touching, clever story, that I already know will be among my favorites this year. The plot is difficult to summarize without making it sound simplistic. There is a dose of almost everything I look for in a book: beautiful language, humor, a few tears (okay, quite a few) a little magic, friendship, adventure, love. The setting of this novel is a fairly small one, but it heightens the sense of community and friendship, and it makes the characters question what it means to be a family in a traditional sense and a more abstract one. Through the eyes of a child, family doesn't have to be a blood relation, and a best friend doesn't have to be their own age, what matters is kindness, an affinity and the willingness to listen and be supportive. Backman does something in this novel, which can often backfire. He tells the story through the view of a seven-year-old girl, Elsa. She is definitely wise beyond her years, but he doesn't overdo it. It takes a talented author to write a novel for adults, dealing with very adult themes, through the eyes of a child, and I very much commend Backman for his skill and thoughtfulness. I grew so attached to the inventive, personable cast of characters, I feel a bit at a loss now that their story has come to an end. I wish I hadn't read Britt-Marie Was Here yet, so I could have that to look forward to, alas that is not the case. So all I can say is lucky you who still have these two books on your to-read lists! Find more reviews and bookish fun at http://www.princessandpen.com

  25. 5 out of 5

    ♥ Sandi ❣

    I am sure that my review of this book will go against the main stream....however.... Had this been the first book I read by Backman I would have stopped there. I really disliked this book. The absolute only redeeming quality that I felt it had was the cross over of characters from his other books. Luckily I had already read "A Man Called Ove" and "Britt-Marie". I felt that there was way too much time and too many pages put into the fairy tales. A bit of back story was needed, but I was tired of t I am sure that my review of this book will go against the main stream....however.... Had this been the first book I read by Backman I would have stopped there. I really disliked this book. The absolute only redeeming quality that I felt it had was the cross over of characters from his other books. Luckily I had already read "A Man Called Ove" and "Britt-Marie". I felt that there was way too much time and too many pages put into the fairy tales. A bit of back story was needed, but I was tired of the non-stop fairly tale descriptions long before Granny died. I finished this book, but it took all I had to continue to pick it back up. Had I not involved this book in a couple challenges I would have gladly tossed it aside. This being his second book I would have thought it to be better, having enjoyed his first and third books. Too much nonsensical idiotic fantasy descriptions for my liking. I could not even disguise this stuff as magical realism. Definitely not my cup of tea.

  26. 4 out of 5

    ❄️Nani❄️

    Another Backman goodness. This man could do no wrong.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Candi

    This was such an endearing story about a savvy and witty almost-eight-year-old girl (who seems to be going on forty-something!) and her hilarious but prickly grandmother! Fredrik Backman has written a very imaginative book with a cast full of very eccentric and interesting characters. Elsa lives with her mother and step-dad; the anticipated arrival of the yet-unborn sibling "Halfie" worries Elsa who feels she will be forgotten. These three live in a building shared with such occupants as Elsa’s This was such an endearing story about a savvy and witty almost-eight-year-old girl (who seems to be going on forty-something!) and her hilarious but prickly grandmother! Fredrik Backman has written a very imaginative book with a cast full of very eccentric and interesting characters. Elsa lives with her mother and step-dad; the anticipated arrival of the yet-unborn sibling "Halfie" worries Elsa who feels she will be forgotten. These three live in a building shared with such occupants as Elsa’s grandmother, affectionately called Granny, as well as a number of others including a "Monster", a dog, and a drunk. I just loved Granny’s spunk! Elsa describes her perfectly: "Granny isn’t particularly good at living in the real world. There are too many rules. She cheats when she plays Monopoly and drives Renault in the bus lane and steals those yellow carrier bags from IKEA and won’t stand behind the line when she’s at the conveyor belt at the airport. And when she goes to the bathroom she leaves the door open. But she does tell the very best fairy tales ever, and for that Elsa can forgive quite a few character defects." In fact, the book is full of these fairy tales into "The-Land-of-Almost-Awake" cooked up by Granny herself. She shares these stories with Elsa when the going gets tough, or when Elsa needs some extra help going to sleep. Because Elsa is different, she is bullied and left as a friendless little girl at school. Granny is her hero and always stands up for her. When Granny shared her stories, I was initially confused. Little by little I was able to piece together what was going on with these little tales. "Granny said that the best stories are never completely realistic and never entirely made-up. That was what Granny meant when she called certain things reality-challenged." When Granny dies, Elsa is confused and heartbroken. Of course, the always perceptive Granny understood that her passing would be very difficult for Elsa. So, before she dies, she leaves a series of letters of apology to all those she felt she had offended or hurt in some way and leaves Elsa with the task of delivering these letters. Once she takes on this journey, Elsa learns about Granny’s life, connections between the people in her world, true friendship, and how to deal with grief and death. I loved learning about those left to protect Elsa and how they all rallied around her during her time of need. Elsa learns to understand the true meaning of Granny’s fairy tales – lucky for me because as Elsa learned, so did I! There were lots of wonderful messages to be learned in this book – from the priceless wisecracking of Granny: "Granny said the real trick of life was that almost no one is entirely a shit and almost no one is entirely not a shit. The hard part of life is keeping as much on the not-a-shit side as one can" to the realization that "Sorrow and loss are constant, but if we all had to go through our whole lives carrying them the whole time, we wouldn’t be able to stand it. The sadness would paralyze us. So in the end we just pack it into bags and find somewhere to leave it." I rated this book 4 stars. Unfortunately, my less than imaginative mind struggled a while with the fairy tales until everything came together for me through Elsa’s gradual understanding. Otherwise, I loved the book! I highly recommend this to anyone that enjoys an original story with a good touch of humor, tenderness and charm. Thanks to Atria Books for providing me with a copy to read and review through a Goodreads giveaway.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    What a remarkable book. A combination of fantasy and brutal reality, pretend worlds and very everyday now. A 7 (about to turn 8) year old girl and her eccentric (to put it mildly) grandmother, live by their own rules while their mother/daughter holds a responsible, uninteresting job at the local hospital. Grandmother enlists Elsa in her antics and Elsa is a willing henchman while Granny helps to offset the bullying Elsa experiences regularly at school. Granny has created a world through stories, What a remarkable book. A combination of fantasy and brutal reality, pretend worlds and very everyday now. A 7 (about to turn 8) year old girl and her eccentric (to put it mildly) grandmother, live by their own rules while their mother/daughter holds a responsible, uninteresting job at the local hospital. Grandmother enlists Elsa in her antics and Elsa is a willing henchman while Granny helps to offset the bullying Elsa experiences regularly at school. Granny has created a world through stories, a world that is both complex and simple, the Land-of-Almost-Awake. This land has it's own structure, myths, heroes and villains and offers some rules that can help in Elsa's world. She has also set Elsa with a project, to deliver messages to people in Granny's life. And she has provided Elsa with guardians and warriors. What the ultimate story is, what the ultimate task is all about, you must read to find out. And I do strongly recommend that you read this. It was one of the most enjoyable reading experiences I've had this year. It offers a story which centers on a child without being childish; it has elements of fantasy while ultimately being grounded in this world. And it has some wonderfully complex characters. A copy of this book was provided by the publisher through NetGalley in return for an honest review.

  29. 5 out of 5

    may ❀

    book #1 in my fredrick backman binge (in publication order) challenge (nOt cLicKbAiT) damn this guy knows how to build and create and craft a story that gets you so involved and invested in these characters that they feel like real humans that are a part of your life i love this dysfunctional, mess-of-a-family, leaseholders' association i've never seen a more beautiful relationship of a grandmother and her granddaughter 😭😭😭😭 so pure, so wholesome, so precious also it was hilarious, like actual laug book #1 in my fredrick backman binge (in publication order) challenge (nOt cLicKbAiT) damn this guy knows how to build and create and craft a story that gets you so involved and invested in these characters that they feel like real humans that are a part of your life i love this dysfunctional, mess-of-a-family, leaseholders' association i've never seen a more beautiful relationship of a grandmother and her granddaughter 😭😭😭😭 so pure, so wholesome, so precious also it was hilarious, like actual laugh-out-loud quality jokes despite all the sadness and tragedy 4 stars!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    3.5 Stars "As Granny would say, this story is 'reality challenged'."If you are fan of Harry Potter and monstrous fairytales with secret languages, you are going to love this delightful tale with a crazy (and funny as hell) superhero granny who sends her beloved (and brainy) granddaughter Elsa on a treasure hunt to deliver sorry letters that uncover some pretty amazing stories.While I did enjoy this uniquely told account from the world of fantasy, I did not love it like A Man Called Ove. For me, 3.5 Stars "As Granny would say, this story is 'reality challenged'."If you are fan of Harry Potter and monstrous fairytales with secret languages, you are going to love this delightful tale with a crazy (and funny as hell) superhero granny who sends her beloved (and brainy) granddaughter Elsa on a treasure hunt to deliver sorry letters that uncover some pretty amazing stories.While I did enjoy this uniquely told account from the world of fantasy, I did not love it like A Man Called Ove. For me, it dragged a bit here and there, and the unnecessary animal cruelty put me off, hence the 3.5 star rating.

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