Book Review: “My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologises”

I’ve just finished a lovely book by Fredrik Backman, author of “A Man Called Ove”. I haven’t read that particular book yet, but based on this particular novel I hope the book is just as readable.

About the Book

Title: “My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologises”
Author: Fredrik Backman
Pages: 368 pages

Synopsis:

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.

Review:

This was my first Fredrik Backman and overall I enjoyed the book very much.

It wasn’t overly gripping but definitely readable enough that I managed a few chapters each night. It tells the tale of Elsa, the granddaughter, as she deals with the death of her grandmother, her parents divorce, bullying at school, and the upcoming newcomer to the family – a baby brother or sister.

Her grandmother’s life is revealed over the course of the story as a result of the letters she’s left Elsa to hunt for, and with each reveal we find out more about the grandmother as well as the people living in the house in various flats.
I really liked how the story flowed, even if the main drama of the story took place towards the end of the book. I wasn’t sure what I expected of the telling of Elsa’s treasure hunt and experiences, but I did really like how it was told in the voice of Elsa, almost 8-years-old.

She’s definitely precocious, is Elsa, and her character is written very well. You know instantly that she’s very smart for her age, but with the story told with mentions of the fantastical Land-Of-Almost-Asleep, you still accept she’s got a childlike way of acting and thinking.

I also loved the references to this fantasy land throughout, and how each of the chapters are named after a particular scent of her grandmother’s flat. It worked really well.

Overall, I’d definitely recommend as very readable.

3.5 Stars out of 5.


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