My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

Almost eight-year-old Elsa is different - a misfit who disappoints her parents and is tormented at school. Her only friend is an outlandish grandmother who has managed to alienate the cast of characters that populate their apartment building. When Granny dies, Elsa learns she is expected to convey at string of apologies on her Granny's behalf. Somewhat unwillingly, Elsa finds and delivers letters via a treasure hunt, following clues that lead her to realize there are others worthy of love who will love her in return. (Be sure to pay attention to the fairy-tales as you read.) Recommended for fans of Roald Dahl and Neil Gaiman.

— Karen

July 2015 Indie Next List

“The ability to write with both humor and sadness, to tell fairy tales without becoming sappy, to convey real love and grief - these are Backman's remarkable gifts. Elsa is seven years old and curious about everything, braver than most adults, often difficult, and acutely aware of being an outsider. Her eccentric grandmother loves her fiercely and is willing to do many unusual things to bring joy and magic to Elsa's life. When her grandmother passes away, Elsa discovers the roles played by the quirky inhabitants of her life and begins to find her way through her grief and to the discovery that being different may be the magic that saves them all.”
— Luisa Smith (E), Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA


A charming, warmhearted novel from the author of the New York Times bestseller A Man Called Ove

Elsa is seven years old and different. Her grandmother is seventy-seven years old and crazy--as in standing-on-the-balcony-firing-paintball-guns-at-strangers 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 instructions lead her to an apartment building full of drunks, monsters, attack dogs, and old crones but also to the truth about fairy tales 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 bestselling debut novel, A Man Called Ove. It is a story about life and death and one of the most important human rights: the right to be different.

"Firmly in league with Roald Dahl and Neil Gaiman . . . A touching, sometimes funny, often wise portrait of grief." --Kirkus Reviews

"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
Product Details
ISBN: 9781501115066
ISBN-10: 1501115065
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: June 16th, 2015
Pages: 384
Language: English