Book Review: My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman

Hello and welcome back to my blog, today’s post is going to be a book review on the latest book I’ve finished, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman. I discovered this book thanks to the Goodreads Best of 2015 Book List, and after reading its description I thought I might be interested in it. Boy was that an understatement! Check out my more detailed thoughts on this book below!

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Elsa, a spunky seven year old, begins our story arguing with her grandmother who has gotten into trouble with her after sneaking out of the hospital once again. Elsa’s grandmother is sick, although she reassures Elsa she’ll be home soon. Spoiler alert, if you couldn’t make an educated guess from the title of the book, Elsa’s grandmother isn’t coming home. Dealing with the lose of her only friend and confidant, Elsa discovers that her grandmother, a lover of fairy tales and stories, has left her with an adventure of a lifetime, a quest for forgiveness. As Elsa continues on her scavenger hunt, both Elsa and us as the readers learn that her grandmother’s imaginary world is most definitely real, and lives on through Elsa’s family and friends.

The characters in this story are so well rounded and thought out. We start with just an arbitrary glimpse of them and as the story progresses we delve into their personalities, history, and their humanity. The character I related to the most was Elsa’s mother, a woman struggling with having her own, independent career whilst still being a present mother to her child. As a young woman beginning to come into this question of career or family, I could definitely sympathize with her story. Maybe it’s also just be getting older, but who knows anymore.

This book hit me hard, I’m not going to lie. Elsa’s only friend is her Grandmother, and she’s also easily the closest family member she has. Growing up, I’ve always been a grandma’s girl, having lived and basically cared for by my grandmother on my Mom’s side and spending almost every weekend at my Grandma’s house on my dad’s side. My grandma on my dad’s side died my senior year in high school after a long battle with cancer, and just that part of my own history along made this story all the more real to me. By the end of the book I was bawling, because I felt like when Elsa’s grandmother was speaking to her, it was really my grandmother speaking to me. Cheesy, I know, but it was an already rough night when I finished this book and I took the story to heart.

Overall, I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars, a first for me this year! Between the amazing writing, the well rounded and realistic characters, and the personal connections I felt with the story, I couldn’t give this book anything else. I will most likely be reading this book when I’m emotionally ready to pick it up again and I’m honestly glad to make a place for this story on my bookshelf.

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I’m participating in the Goodreads 2016 Reading Challenge (I’m going for 50 books read in 2016!), so if you’d like to follow along with my progress or just see what I’m reading you can check that out here. I’m also attempting the Popsugar 2016 Reading Challenge, which can be found here. Let me know in the comments any books you’d recommend and what you’re currently reading. See you all next time!

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