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My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry Hardcover – June 16, 2015
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“[…] Believable and fanciful. Backman’s smooth storytelling infuses his characters with charm and wit. . . Engaging. . . A delightful story.” (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
“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.” (Booklist (starred))
“Firmly in league with Roald Dahl and Neil Gaiman. A touching, sometimes funny, often wise portrait of grief.”
“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.” (Library Journal)
"An eclectic cast of characters, fairy-tale wisdom, and a little mystery… one of our favorite novels of the year so far." (SFGate.com)
"What I admire in Backman’s stories is his honesty and perspective about grief and losing those we love the most. I would recommend this book to Neil Gaiman fans, as the storytelling is fantastic and heartwarming.” (Sun-Gazette)
Praise for A MAN CALLED OVE:
“A charming debut…You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll feel new sympathy for the curmudgeons in your life. You’ll also want to move to Scandinavia, where everything’s cuter.” (People)
"An inspiring affirmation of love for life and acceptance of people for their essence and individual quirks. A Man Called Ove is a perfect selection for book clubs. It's well written and replete with universal concerns. It lacks violence and profanity, is life-affirming and relationship-driven. The book is bittersweet, tender, often wickedly humorous and almost certain to elicit tears. I contentedly wept my way through a box of tissues when I first read the novel and again when I savored it for a second time.” (BookBrowse.com)
About the Author
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 lives in Stockholm, Sweden, with his wife and two children.
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Overall I found the book a thoroughly enjoyable read. It was both funny and heartbreaking at the same time. But while I loved the middle and the end of the book, I found the beginning a little muddled. In the beginning I found it hard to relate to the wacky almost senile character of Granny, and the convoluted stories about the Land-of-Almost-Awake were confusing and difficult to follow. (I actually found myself skimming the sections about Miamas and the Land-of-Almost-Awake.) But after Granny's death all those random pieces started to come together in a very structured way. (At this point I had to go back and re-read the parts I skimmed). In the end I found that all of Granny's madcap actions had a reason, and all her stories had a point.
So a very enjoyable read, just pay attention to all those stories that Granny and Elsa tell in the beginning. They really are important.
On a side note there is one thing that still confuses me about the book: What was the deal with the Leaseholds? Why would the conversion from flats to leasehold make some tenants a profit and force other tenants out of the building?
I read a lot. Some books are a nice story, some a nice adventure, and some will change your life. And here is a spoiler alert: this is a book that will change your life. Fredrik Backman is brilliant, and he dares to change lives through his writing. He makes it okay to be different, by finding the "different" in us all.
You will laugh out loud, and weep quietly. You will also be envious not to know more intimately the kingdoms of the Land of Almost Awake. And if you figure it out, please let me know what the Secret Language is!
Joan Walker's Audible presentation is spot on, and I will be listening to this again and again.
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