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My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologises

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Elsa comes to realise how each individual was a part of her grandmother's story and how each in their way is a friend to Elsa even when it may not appear so at the beginning.

It was suggested to me several times that I should go back and read this book because Brit-Marie is a secondary character here and this book is a segue into BMWH. Together they would travel to the six kingdoms in the Land-of-Almost-Awake where they had adventures involving cloud animals, regretters, wurses, snow-angels, dragons, princesses and knights. But, via a series of apology letters her grandmother wrote to various people she felt she had wronged, Elsa is sent on an adventurous journey that will enlighten her, challenge her perception of her beloved grandmother, and change the dynamics of her relationship with her mother and other family members, opening a door towards forgiveness and acceptance. At the heart of the story is a seven year old girl without friends, an outsider in her school who is loved deeply by her cantankerous , seventy-seven year old grandmother.As Christmas draws near, even the best superhero grandmothers may have one or two things they'd like to apologise for.

What they actually meant was 'she is massively annoying for her age', which they directed at her parents with strained smiles spread all over their faces. And they have to have happy endings, which is something that Elsa has decided completely on her own. Backman's talent lies in creating witty, cynical, elderly characters, which he should stick to because there really are so few books centred around older men and women.

Yet they are each other’s favorite person – always on each other’s side even when they are in the wrong. Thankfully the stupid, demented grandmother dies half way through but is still remarkably central to the childish story. The precocious Elsa is definitely beyond her years but it was hard at times to believe that a 7 year old would be as wise and knowing about people as she was . When Elsa’s parents divorced it was Granny who showed her how to deal with the nightmares by telling her fairy stories.

And I have to say, once it became clear the fantasy part plays a major role in understanding the whole meaning of Elsa’s journey, I decided to change my crappy attitude and go all in. Elsa discovers that the fairy tales ultimately tied up to the stories of the other characters in the book, but this doesn't make them any more readable. The story takes place in Sweden and follows Elsa, a 7 year old who knows she is different from other children her age. Her grandmother’s instructions lead her to an apartment building full of drunks, monsters, attack dogs, and old crones but also to the truth about fairy tales and kingdoms and a grandmother like no other.Nothing is a shame, even believing in superheroes, if it eventually adds up to the good in this world. Now, aging and eccentric she makes up fairy tales to entertain and to teach her beloved granddaughter. It is a story about life and death and one of the most important human rights: the right to be different. In the end, I couldn't bring myself to leave the star rating blank, but I am not sure you can trust my experience to match the experience you might have. It sounded like an equally sweet and disarming story: a young girl reaching out on behalf of her beloved grandmother to right past wrongs.

For Elsa that is her seventy-seven year old grandmother who regales her with stories that become like a secret communication between them. Elsa is to guard the castle, which is how they refer to their home, and to look after their friends. Her grandmother is seventy-seven years old and crazy—as in standing-on-the-balcony-firing-paintball-guns-at-strangers crazy.At night Elsa runs to her grandmother's stories, to the Land of Almost-Awake and the Kingdom of Miamas. It captivated me at first but then I couldn't keep up with the details of the characters and the rules of this complex kingdom. This is a beautiful story of flawed people and the good that can be found when one takes the time to look. Once, towards the end, I was sobbing so hard, I was afraid my husband would hear me in the next room. Although both novels featured an older person’s interactions with a young person, they were vastly different.

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