In a word, wonderful. This is a beautiful book. The characters are all fantastically drawn – from the larger-than-life Granny, to the introverted and precocious Elsa. The author has a brilliant turn of phrase, and I found the book to be peppered with clever little descriptions and some quite poignant passages. The story is unfolded very carefully – we are only fed little titbits at a time, and you really do get a sense of being in Elsa’s shoes, as she slowly discovers all the things she didn’t know about Granny and her neighbours. Even though it deals with grief and loss, it never gets bogged down in it, and it has a lovely uplifting ending – you really get a sense of how much Elsa has developed over the course of the story. My only two (very minor) gripes about the book were that the fairy tale stuff did get a tiny bit tiresome at times, and that Granny was such a great character I was left wanting to know a bit more about her. However, I can’t complain about this too much as I suppose it is deliberate, as you finish the story in the same position as Elsa – you understand Granny a little bit more, but you still miss her. Totally recommended.
Note: This is sometimes titled My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry. I don’t speak Swedish, but it seems like a far inferior translation, in my opinion.
Title: My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologises
Author: Fredrik Backman
Source: Free review copy from Lovereading
Rating: 4.5 stars
Keep, return, swap or burn? Keep