My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry by Fredrik Backman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
It was true after his first book, A Man Called Ove, that I would read everything this man ever writes. Or give it a shot, anyway. After this, I can't imagine ever not reading, not finishing. Contemporary fiction is hard for me, as dark and dreary as most of what's published is. I already know about the worst of humanity, I like reading about regular people living their values (ok, there are some vampire hunters in the mix, but you know what I mean). Every character, spot-on. Every story charming, wise, humorous as Nick Hornby, tender as McCall Smith's Botswana. Laughing and crying throughout the same book is wondrous and rare--but true to real life, whatever that may be.
Elsa is not Pippi Longstocking, but she could be. Through her eyes we see death and divorce, change and mystery, love and community. I actually have met some elderly, cranky European women, so I had a face and a feel for Elsa's grandmother from the get-go. This controlling, loving woman has left some letters for young Elsa to deliver after the funeral. Aware that her death will create cracks and faultlines in her community, Grandmother has made an opportunity for those who grieve her to patch over the faultlines and build anew.
If you like a heartwarming story and don't mind some "cussing," you have found an author to treasure and share. Go, buy, make sure he keeps getting published!
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