My Grandmother Told Me To Tell You She’s Sorry

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Author: Fredrik Backman

Pages: 372

Goodreads 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.


Backman does it again. This is the second story I’ve read written by Backman and I must tell you, the man knows how to hit all your feelings. I mean, after finishing this story I’ve decided if I was to meet any author ever it would be him, his writing gives me that kind of feels.

Elsa is a spitfire and so is granny. I knew the moment I started reading this story (literally a sentence in) that I was going to be hooked. The whole story is Elsa learning more about the people she lives with and at 8 years old, Elsa is a smart little thing (though what I love is the writing sounds like an 8-year-old) who figures out that not everything on the outside is what it seems. In fact, the story shows how people deal with loss differently, how they deal with trauma in a way that others can’t imagine and how coming together is really the only way to move forward.

Every character is important in this story because every character has a fear and a life that they have buried and it’s up to Elsa to help them live again.

My Grandmother Told Me To Tell You She’s Sorry is a story about life, in its ups and in its downs. It’s about learning who a person truly is, accepting loss, learning that being different doesn’t mean you’re not normal and becoming friends with the least likely of people. I laughed, I cried, I felt like I had gone to therapy, and my life is truly better because of it.

Review: 5/5 stars

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