My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She's Sorry

Atria. Jul. 2015. 384p. tr. from Swedish by Henning Koch. ISBN 9781501115066. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781501115080. F
Precocious seven-year-old Elsa and her feisty grandmother have been inseparable her whole life, bonding over stories set in the fairy-tale-influenced Land of Almost-Awake and the Kingdom of Miamas. Yet, it's when Granny passes away that the true adventures begin. Elsa is sent on a scavenger hunt involving letters of apology from Granny to various people she wronged throughout her life. Along the way, Elsa discovers not only a unique new support system but the magic and heroism that daily life can hold. Backman (A Man Called Ove) weaves an intricate story line in which childhood folklore and life experiences fuse in unexpected ways. While the complexities of Miamas can be overwhelming, particularly at the beginning, the novel shines once Elsa's quest begins and the ties between the stories and Granny's life are revealed.
VERDICT 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. Recommended for Backman fans and readers who appreciate the power of a well-crafted fairy tale. [See Prepub Alert, 2/2/15; a June LibraryReads pick.]
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