“Having a grandmother is like having an army. This is a grandchild’s ultimate privilege: knowing that someone is on your side always, whatever the details. Even when you are wrong. Especially then, in fact.”
I am seeing a trend in Fredrik Backman‘s books. In a ‘A Man Called Ove’, Ove is at first disliked by most of his neighbors being a grumpy old man but as the story progresses, he becomes well loved by everyone because he is able to significantly help their lives one way or another.
The same is true for My Grandmother Asked You to Tell Me She’s Sorry. Except in this book, Granny’s heroism not only in her grandchild’s life but in many other lives as well is realized by her almost eight year old overly precocious grandchild, Elsa, after granny passed away. As Elsa embarks on the quest assigned to her by Granny before she died, Elsa learns that every person living in their apartment building has been significantly helped by Granny.
It’s certainly a creative, inclusive, heartwarming, and touching story that will make you laugh and cry a little too. It has a complete cast of characters, from a little girl to an ancient but hip granny, to a beast of a dog, to a super tall monster who is afraid of germs, and the rest of the neighbors and Elsa’s family. It’s a story about dysfunctional families, mental health, trauma, grief, and loss, mother-daughter relationships and how you can never really know why a person behaves a certain way unless you learned about their stories.
It was only a bit confusing and a little challenging to follow the plot sometimes because of the multitude of characters both in the real world and the Land-of-Almost-Awake but the messages resonated with me just the same and I think Mr. Backman wrote another clever and endearing novel in this book. I look forward to reading Britt Marie was Here.