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My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry
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January 2017: Foreign Literature > My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry - 4 Stars

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 Olivermagnus (lynda214) | 1954 comments When Elsa was seven years old, her Granny died and left a set of letters behind for Elsa to deliver for her. She is Elsa's best and only friend because none of the other children her age seem to like her. We get a chance to meet her grandmother in the beginning of the book and realize her main goal has always been to make Elsa feel more comfortable about being different. The way she does that is by making up a fairy-tale-influenced Land of Almost Awake and the Kingdom of Miamas, where no one is considered “normal”.

Granny created the Kingdom, as well as a secret language, to help Elsa fall asleep every night, while at the same time revealing some of her own secrets. It isn't until she's gone that Elsa starts to find out the fairy tales were created from real incidents. As she delivers Granny’s letters, Elsa confronts some of her biggest fears and learns that it’s okay to be different and that differences should be celebrated.

What a lovely little book. I didn't like it as well as A Man Called Ove, especially in the beginning, but I came to appreciate every character by the time I was finished. If you loved a Man Called Ove, you won't necessarily love this one. The action takes place from a young girl's point of view, there are many references to the Kingdom and, while it's tempting to skim them, they all have some sort of meaning that will be revealed later in the story. The final half of the book is where I really started to appreciate this humorous and endearing novel. And I think I'm going to be a better grandmother for having read it.


Ellen | 2090 comments I liked this one, too, not quite as much as Ove and BrittMarie, but it was good.


message 3: by KateNZ (new)

KateNZ | 2217 comments Lovely review, Olivermagnus. This sounds really charming, and my sort of thing - oh dear, another purchase in the offing :)


message 4: by Amy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amy | 8299 comments This is my quirky read... can't wait!


message 5: by Joi (new) - added it

Joi (missjoious) | 3782 comments Does this have aspects of magical realism? My mom is reading this now, and I could probably snag it for quirky if I wanted to.


message 6: by Karin (last edited Jan 27, 2017 04:03PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Karin | 6928 comments Amy wrote: "This is my quirky read... can't wait!"

I hope you like it as much as I did. This was my first Fredrik Backman book and is by far my favourite of all of his (I've read all of the ones in English.) I liked Elsa a great deal, and the beginning might seem odd, but it is a precocious 7 year old POV and makes TOTAL sense as you read the novel (but only if you keep reading!)


message 7: by Karin (last edited Jan 27, 2017 04:06PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Karin | 6928 comments Joi wrote: "Does this have aspects of magical realism? My mom is reading this now, and I could probably snag it for quirky if I wanted to."

No, not at all. The fairy tale is allegorical and Serves a Purpose. Well, sort of allegorical since the definitions for allegory vary, and I can't think of a figure of speech that applies off the top of my head, and I know quite a few figures of speech (well, knew quite a few, as I may be forgetting some of them now).


message 8: by Joi (new) - added it

Joi (missjoious) | 3782 comments I feel like if I read this, I'm just going to have Frozen's 'Let It Go' stuck in my head the whole time because of the name Elsa.


message 9: by Karin (last edited Feb 03, 2017 07:38AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Karin | 6928 comments Joi wrote: "I feel like if I read this, I'm just going to have Frozen's 'Let It Go' stuck in my head the whole time because of the name Elsa."

That did NOT happen to me. This Elsa is not the same, and the writing has an entirely different feel. I get a LOT of earworms, but that association didn't happen.

However, thanks to you, I'm going to have to go listen to some music to wipe "Let it Go" from my mind. :)


message 10: by Jgrace (new)

Jgrace | 2762 comments I've enjoyed two of his books, so I'm sure I'll get to this one someday. I'm glad to hear that you liked it.


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