#BookReview: My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman

Reviewer: Annie

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She's Sorry by Fredrik BackmanSummary:

From the author of the internationally bestselling A Man Called Ove, a charming, warmhearted novel about a young girl whose grandmother dies and leaves behind a series of letters, sending her on a journey that brings to life the world of her grandmother’s fairy tales.

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 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 letters lead her to an apartment building full of drunks, monsters, attack dogs, and totally ordinary old crones, but also to the truth about fairytales 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 internationally bestselling debut novel, A Man Called Ove. It is a story about life and death and an ode to one of the most important human rights: the right to be different.


Fredrik Backman is a wonderfully gifted story-teller.  He writes a very inviting story of a girl and her grandmother.  While you get lost in the fairy tale lands that Elsa and her grandmother “make up”, you learn by the end of the book that all of these stories are loosely based in reality.  This was a beautifully captivating story that “had me at hello”.

Elsa is 7 years old and her best friend is her grandmother, because she is not well liked by her peers.  She is bullied for being different, but her grandmother shares with her that being different is perfectly fine.  The truth is, aren’t we all different.

At night, Elsa hears stories from her grandmother about the “land of the almost awake’ and, “the kingdom of Miama’s”, even making up their own language.   This was her grandmother’s way of reminding Elsa that we all have a right to be different.

When her grandmother dies, Elsa sets out on a journey of bringing letters of apology to the people of the building they live in…all from her grandmother. This would be her last adventure “with” her grandmother.

Fredrik Backman captures the essence of writing a magical story that is set in real life.  I was so impressed by his writing, it was mature, beautiful, and unlike any other book I have read.

He is a standout original.

5 Stars





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