This is a charming and engaging novel by Frederik Backman. It follows an extremely special and clever eight-year old who follows a treasure hunt left to her by her grandmother who has just passed away. It takes her on an adventure of animals, stories and fairy tales. All the while, uncovering her grandmothers past.
I could go on forever about how great this novel is but it ultimately comes down to the characters and their quirks and experiences really come to life and make you forget that you are in fact reading a novel. It made me incredibly nostalgic for those younger years of fairy tales and magic as well as childish fantasies that Elsa experiences with her grandmother, like breaking into a zoo and throwing monkey poo at policemen. Hilarious anecdotes scattered throughout.
Rather than mute or censor darker moments and tales, it faces them head on and while some of it goes over Elsa’s head, it doesn’t for the reader. It really captures how children pick up on the smallest thing and see the world in such a different and simpler way.
Elsa’s grandmother is the kind of person you want to spend time with, by far one of my favourite fictional characters (which is an extremely tough category!!). Backman really encapsulates on that time when you grow from seeing your family as the labels they have into seeing them as people; humans who make mistakes and aren’t always right.
The dialogue and narrative is charming and the whole novel is like a great big hug from a loved one. It hits you in the heart and makes you belly laugh. Entertaining through and through. Read it and you will never regret it.
My Grandmother Sends Her Apologies and Regards by Fredrik Backman