Narrator: Joan Walker
Published by Simon & Schuster Audio on June 16th 2015
Genres: Fiction, General, Humorous, Literary
Length: 11 hrs. 2 mins.
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.
Elsa is seven years old and different. Her grandmother is seventy-seven years old and crazy, standing-on-the-balcony-firing-paintball-guns-at-men-who-want-to-talk-about-Jesus-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 letters lead her to an apartment building full of drunks, monsters, attack dogs, and totally ordinary old crones, but also to the truth about fairytales 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 internationally bestselling debut novel, 'A Man Called Ove'. It is a story about life and death and an ode to one of the most important human rights: the right to be different.
Seven-year-old Elsa has a very special relationship with her beloved grandmother. They were partners-in-crime and had their own special language – bonding over Harry Potter and her original fairy tales. When cancer suddenly claims her grandmother’s life, Elsa feels so alone and betrayed. But there’s a task to be done- granny asked Elsa to deliver notes of apology to the residents of the apartment building they share. Elsa finds through this scavenger hunt of sorts that these mysterious characters bear a striking resemblance to the characters in her grandmother’s fairytale stories. She learns more about the person her granny was and those around her in the process.
This is a really sweet, heartwarming story. I felt for Elsa and how much she mourned her closest friend, her granny. I was especially close to my Nana so this book definitely hit home. Elsa feels left out now that her mother has remarried with a baby on the way, and her father has a new family too. Her granny always made her feel special and now she’s gone.
This journey introduces Elsa to a whole new world of characters, and helps her to understand her granny better and shows her that there are more people in her corner than she realized.
The eccentric cast of characters and sense of adventure made My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry a fun read. And the thread on grieving and family connections touched my heart. Though this book is written for adults I think it could be a meaningful read for all ages. I haven’t read Fredrik Backman’s debut A Man Called Ove yet but it’s on my list now.
I listened to the audiobook, read by Joan Walker. Walker’s narration suited the whimsical story perfectly. Walker skillfully inhabits each character, making the child-like voice of Elsa as believable as the offbeat granny, and cool and collected mom. The entertaining narration makes the story fly by. Check out an excerpt: