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My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry
Cover of My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry
My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry
A Novel
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A charming, warmhearted novel from the author of the New York Times bestseller A Man Called Ove.Elsa is seven years old and different. Her grandmother is seventy-seven years old and crazy—as in...
A charming, warmhearted novel from the author of the New York Times bestseller A Man Called Ove.Elsa is seven years old and different. Her grandmother is seventy-seven years old and crazy—as in...
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Description-

  • A charming, warmhearted novel from the author of the New York Times bestseller A Man Called Ove.
    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.

About the Author-

  • Fredrik Backman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry, Britt-Marie Was Here, Beartown, Us Against You, and Anxious People, as well as two novellas and one work of nonfiction. His books are published in more than forty countries. He lives in Stockholm, Sweden, with his wife and two children. Connect with him on Facebook and Twitter @BackmanLand and on Instagram @Backmansk.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    April 20, 2015
    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.

  • Kirkus

    May 1, 2015
    A contemporary fairy tale from the whimsical author of A Man Called Ove (2014). Elsa is almost 8, and her granny is her best-and only-friend. Elsa's precociousness and her granny's disregard for societal rules mark them as trouble to most people they encounter and make Elsa a pariah at school. But every night she can journey with her granny to the Land-of-Almost-Awake, made of six kingdoms, each with its own strength, purpose, and interlocking mythologies that Elsa knows by heart. In the Land-of-Almost-Awake, Elsa doesn't have to worry about how she fits in at school, in the apartment building full of misfits where she lives, or in her family, where both her parents are divorced and remarried and her mother is pregnant. When granny passes away with very little notice, Elsa is bereft. And angry. So angry that it's almost no consolation that Elsa's granny has left her a treasure hunt. But the hunt reveals that each misfit in her apartment building has a connection to her granny, and they all have a story reflected in the Land-of-Almost-Awake. Neither world is short on adventure, tragedy, or danger. This is a more complex tale than Backman's debut, and it is intricately, if not impeccably, woven. The third-person narrative voice, when aligned with Elsa's perspective, reveals heartfelt, innocent observations, but when moving toward omniscience, it can read as too clever by half. Given a choice, Backman seems more likely to choose poignancy over logic; luckily, the choice is not often necessary. As in A Man Called Ove, there are clear themes here, nominally: the importance of stories; the honesty of children; and the obtuseness of most adults, putting him firmly in league with the likes of Roald Dahl and Neil Gaiman. A touching, sometimes-funny, often wise portrait of grief.

    COPYRIGHT(2015) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from May 1, 2015
    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.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2015, American Library Association.)

  • Library Journal

    June 15, 2015

    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

    Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Library Journal

    February 15, 2015

    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.

    Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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Fredrik Backman
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