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My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry
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My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  96,219 Ratings  ·  14,218 Reviews
Elsa is seven years old and different. Her grandmother is seventy-seven years old and crazy, standing-on-the-balcony-firing-paintball-guns-at-men-who-want-to-talk-about-Jesus-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 ...more
Hardcover, 372 pages
Published June 16th 2015 by Atria Books (first published September 4th 2013)
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Karin Absolutely keep reading. Never mind trying to keep all the places and people straight. It'll all fall into place, and you'll love it! Or try the audio…moreAbsolutely keep reading. Never mind trying to keep all the places and people straight. It'll all fall into place, and you'll love it! Or try the audio book; it might be easier to follow. The reader, Joan Walker, really brings the characters to live and lets you savor the emotions!(less)
yikes Despite the fact that so many people say that this isn't appropriate for young children and that children would be bored, I am 11 years old. My…moreDespite the fact that so many people say that this isn't appropriate for young children and that children would be bored, I am 11 years old. My grandmother and I saw this at Target and both of us immediately decided to read it. I've been enjoying it thoroughly. I don't think adults should give answers on what children want to read if they really have no idea.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Apr 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
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
Suzanne Ross
Jun 25, 2015 rated it it was ok
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 ...more
Angela M
Apr 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
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 🖤🐾🐺
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
May 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
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.
Mar 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
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
[Originally appeared here (with edits):]

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
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.
Oct 27, 2016 rated it it was ok
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 ...more
Mar 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
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
May 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016, i-own-it, translated
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
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
Emily May
Jan 23, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: contemporary, 2016
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.
Jun 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Michael by: Elyse
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 ...more
May 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: just-one-book
Τι γλυκό και υπέροχο παραμύθι ήταν αυτό! Πόσο αστείο και συγκινητικό και υπέροχο!

Η Έλσα είναι εφτά χρονών και σε λίγο θα γίνει οχτώ. Της αρέσει ο Χάρι Πότερ, ο Άρχοντας των Δαχτυλιδιών, ο Σπάιντερμαν, οι X-Men και η Βικιπαίδεια και έχει την καλύτερη γιαγιά στον κόσμο που τυχαίνει να είναι και η καλύτερή της φίλη και της λέει τις πιο τέλειες ιστορίες!

Αλλά μια μέρα η γιαγιά πεθαίνει.

Και τώρα η Έλσα πρέπει να κάνει το τελευταίο πράγμα που της ζήτησε η γιαγιά της: να πάρει μέρος σε ένα κυνήγι θησαυρ
May 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another Backman goodness.

This man could do no wrong.
Feb 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
“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
♥ Sandi ❣
Dec 23, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2-want
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
May 10, 2016 rated it did not like it
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
Jul 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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,
Apr 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ew
Thank you to the publisher for an opportunity to read an advance copy of My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry. A high 4 stars. This book was written by the same author who wrote A Man Called Ove, which I loved. Backman's first book crept up on me unexpectedly. Reading My Grandmother was a similar experience with the added challenge of high expectations. At first, I thought "ok, this is good, it has funny parts and a quirky central character, but it's a bit messy and I'm having trouble ...more
May 16, 2015 rated it liked it
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,

Jul 29, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
تجربه خوندن «مردي به نام اوه» انتظارم رو از بكمن بالا برده بود. انتظاري كه تو اين كتاب برآورده نشد :( خيلي خوب شروع شد.. ولي وسطهاش ديگه واقعا خسته كننده شده بود.. دوست دارم بدونم چرا بكمن اين قدر طولاني كرده اين كتابو... نزديك به پونصد صفحه ست.. نهايتا ميتونست تو دويست صفحه خيلي خوب جمع و جورش كنه. حتي خودش هم آخرهاي كتاب اشاره كرده بود كه اين كتاب ميتونست زودتر تموم بشه....
به هر حال همونقدر كه خوب شروعش كرد، بد تمومش كرد...
انگار هيچ ايده اي براي پايان بندي نداشته... براي همينم از وسط تا آخر كت
Jan 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
“Every seven-year-old deserves a superhero. That’s just how it is.“ For Elsa, her grandmother is her superhero, however as the book progresses Elsa begins to notices superpowers in all those close to her. This book has a childlike honesty and curiosity to it. It is told from Elsa’s 7 year old perspective. There is much humor and sweetness to this book.

It is a heartwarming quirky tale that begins with the relationship between a grandmother and her 7 year old granddaughter. Granny is eccentric and
Apr 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 4000-books, apr-17
This was a tough one to bear after loving a Man Called Ove so much! Sure I liked Elsa well enough and Granny was pretty amazing too but the constant reverting to fairytale land made this such a disappointment for me. I almost ditched it a few times.

Protecting a child from harsh reality with fantasy could be a beautiful story. I felt that the delivery of this concept was confusing and overbearing.

I struggled with the first third of the book. I couldn’t quite figure out where the story was leading
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Fredrik Backman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove (soon to be a major motion picture starring Tom Hanks), My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, Britt-Marie Was Here, Beartown, Us Against You, as well as two novellas, And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer and The Deal of a Lifetime. His books are published in more than forty countries. He liv ...more
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“People in the real world always say, when something terrible happens, that the sadness and loss and aching pain of the heart will “lessen as time passes,” but it isn’t true. 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.” 237 likes
“Only different people change the world,” Granny used to say. “No one normal has ever changed a crapping thing.” 183 likes
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