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My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and…

My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologises (original 2013; edition 2016)

by Fredrik Backman (Author), Henning Koch (Translator)

Series: Britt-Marie

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,5231604,100 (3.99)171
"From the author of the internationally bestselling A Man Called Ove, a charming, warmhearted novel about a young girl whose grandmother dies and leaves behind a series of letters, sending her on a journey that brings to life the world of her grandmother's fairy tales"--
Title:My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologises
Authors:Fredrik Backman (Author)
Other authors:Henning Koch (Translator)
Info:Sceptre (2016), 368 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry by Fredrik Backman (2013)

Recently added bysialia, RRD122, Ken-Me-Old-Mate, private library, Cricket856, seances
  1. 10
    House of the Winds by Mia Yun (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Though the settings differ, both captivating, character-centered novels portray girls who learn of the world through eccentric older women's traditional tales of peaceful realms.
  2. 11
    Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions by Daniel Wallace (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: In these moving, whimsical tales, imaginative storytellers mix the fantastical with the mundane, leaving it to a now-adult man in Big Fish and a small girl in My Grandmother Asked Me to sort between the two as they process their grief.… (more)

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» See also 171 mentions

English (154)  German (3)  Swedish (1)  Italian (1)  French (1)  All languages (160)
Showing 1-5 of 154 (next | show all)
Elsa's grandmother is different. She's highly intelligent, politically incorrect, incredibly irascible, and occasionally violent. (She puts me very much in mind of Diana Trent from the Brit com Waiting for God.) Although Elsa is aware of Granny's rule-breaking eccentricities, they don't bother her at all. To the contrary, Elsa considers her granny a cinnamon-bun-and-beer-devouring, slightly dysfunctional superhero whose superpowers include "lifesaving and driving people nuts." Granny's "the sort of person you brought with you when you went to war," and Elsa's life seems to be one big conflict.

As long as Elsa's been alive, Granny's been her champion, her confidant, and her constant and closest companion. She helps Elsa navigate her way through life's rough waters and "just wants Elsa to know she’s on Elsa’s side, no matter what." Elsa doesn't fit in with her peers, or even with most adults, but she and Granny have a bond that can't be broken. They share a special language and an imaginary secret kingdom in the Land-of-Almost-Awake, a place granny came up with to help Elsa get through her parents' divorce. Then one day, Granny dies, and that's when the real adventure begins, an adventure Granny sadly promises will have a dragon at the end.

At times the writing seems as if the author is trying too hard to be funny, but not always, and the story itself is perfectly charming. Elsa is a heroine in the making and a character worth meeting. Symbolism plays a large role in the narrative as the line between fairy tales and reality is irrevocably blurred, and it's up to Elsa to complete Granny's final mission for her by discovering the truth behind the tale.

While tackling heady themes of abandonment, illness, loss, war, and PTSD, the novel teaches us that sometimes the biggest fairy tale is believing in the perfection of the people we love most, and the best reality exists in knowing everything about them and loving them as they are. ( )
  MadMaudie | Sep 5, 2020 |
Another fine novel. ( )
  CharlesBoyd | Aug 29, 2020 |
I thoroughly enjoy this book (as much as one can "enjoy" a book about death and grief) but also found it deeply flawed. The writing style irritated me at first, as I didn't really care for the overly precocious Elsa, and the style is essential her first person narrative. I did get used to it as I progressed through the story though. Other plot conveniences like the dog who only eats cookies and doesn't have to pee until the third act, and the hospital run by one person (not even a doctor), and the wardrobe, and the fact that parents don't ever seem terribly concerned where their small children are......just drove me batty. It was too much suspension of disbelief required and seemed lazy on the part of the author.

But, like Ove, the tale of a bunch of odd misfit characters coming together to befriend, heal, and support was heartwarming. And also a major tearjerker. And who doesn't like a good cry. ( )
  technodiabla | Aug 24, 2020 |
Elsa is an extraordinarily precocious almost-eight-year-old, who lives in an apartment building with her mother and step-father. In the neighboring apartment lives her Granny, who is borderline insane, but mostly in a good way. Elsa loves her Granny more than anything else in the world. Her Granny has spent years telling Elsa long and elaborate fairy tales about the six kingdoms in the Land-of-Almost-Awake, and Elsa remembers them all. And then then Granny dies.
When Granny dies, she sends Elsa on a mission. She is to deliver a letter to someone. She delivers it to another resident in the building, known to her only as "the Monster" because he is so big and scary looking. When she delivers the letter, she learns more about "the Monster" and grows to love him. But then he gives her another letter from her Granny, addressed to yet another resident in the building.
As Elsa learns the stories of each person who lives in the building, and learns how they all had a connection with her grandmother, and learns of the peculiar and unexpected connections they have to each other, she learns more about herself, her Granny, and everyone in her life.
And there is also a wurse. What's a wurse? He's pictured on the cover of the book, next to Elsa, wearing her Gryffindor scarf. ( )
  fingerpost | Aug 19, 2020 |
I absolutely loved this book. Very much as touching as A Man Called Ove, but with an added complexity (almost a mystery) that we have to unravel as we read, and as the main character (seven-year-old Elsa) follows her grandmother's dying wishes. Backman has a way of building a web of characters and plots that start off seeming like they are disconnected, only to show later how they are layered on top of each other. His characters are interesting, believable, and moving. And his writing is appropriately comedic when it needs to be and serious. Quite the little masterpiece of feel-good literature. I don't often say this, but I will be re-visiting this one again later. Probably before I read the (sort of) sequel about Britt-Marie. ( )
  invisiblelizard | Aug 13, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 154 (next | show all)
A contemporary fairy tale from the whimsical author of A Man Called Ove (2014)...This is a more complex tale than Backman’s debut, and it is intricately, if not impeccably, woven. The third-person narrative voice, when aligned with Elsa’s perspective, reveals heartfelt, innocent observations, but when moving toward omniscience, it can read as too clever by half. Given a choice, Backman seems more likely to choose poignancy over logic; luckily, the choice is not often necessary. As in A Man Called Ove, there are clear themes here, nominally: the importance of stories; the honesty of children; and the obtuseness of most adults, putting him firmly in league with the likes of Roald Dahl and Neil Gaiman.

A touching, sometimes-funny, often wise portrait of grief.

» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Fredrik Backmanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Koch, HenningTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sybesma, EdithTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To the monkey and the frog. For an eternity of ten thousand tales.
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Every seven-year-old deserves a superhero.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"From the author of the internationally bestselling A Man Called Ove, a charming, warmhearted novel about a young girl whose grandmother dies and leaves behind a series of letters, sending her on a journey that brings to life the world of her grandmother's fairy tales"--

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Book description
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.
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