After reading A Man Called Ove, I promised I will come back to this lovely Swedish author: Fredrik Backman because of his completely different style of writing. I chose to read next My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologises, a book that turned out to be totally and utterly gorgeous in every way.
There is a beautiful simplicity to the writing, yet this is not a simple book by any means, given the complexity to the emotions it evokes and explores. This is what always fascinated me about Fredrik Backman: while writing about fairy tales and seemingly simple stories, he is touching on the toughest and most intimate topics in a person’s life. I laughed, I cried, I enjoyed the silence and imagined all the moments when I could turn my life stories into fairy tales. Would it have been easier to get over some of the hardest moments?
Elsa, who is almost eight, and her Granny are two of the most different/ distinct characters you could ever discover in a book. I mean, they always go outside the law, they never respect rules and their imagination is endless. They never try to fit in, but they’re always defiant. They even have a secret language and at night, Elsa runs to her grandmother’s stories, to the Land of Almost-Awake and the Kingdom of Miamas because there, everybody is different and nobody needs to be normal. When her grandmother dies, she leaves a series of letters apologizing to people she has hurt from various reasons, in different situations. At this point, the real adventure begins for Elsa, because she finds out how real the fairy tales were, in fact. One by one, the letters lead her to an apartment building full of drunks, monsters, attack dogs and all the people gathered here help her to discover the truth about her grandmother.
Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologises is a story about life and death and one of the most important human rights: the right to be different. I simply can’t express how heart-warming the book was for me. After all the letters were delivered and the story came to an end, I could draw a conclusion: freedom is a state of mind for which we must fight a lifetime.