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My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologises: From the bestselling author of A MAN CALLED OVE

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Elsa is seven years old and different. Her grandmother is seventy-seven years old and crazy—as in standing-on-the-balcony-firing-paintball-guns-at-strangers 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. Breaking into a zoo in the middle of the night? Firing a paintball gun from a balcony in her dressing gown? Ask your grand child how much they know about you. Encourage them to ask questions about your personal life, so that they too can be future storytellers and keep memories alive.

I was bowled over when I discovered, after finishing the book, that it was written by the author of A Man Called Ove. Yes, I know I was a bit dimwitted. But just remember, it is every single person's undeniable right to make a fool of him/herself, and I am exercising that right by admitting this here! By saying this I admit being in total cohorts with Grandma in the story. I not only liked her; I recognized her as a soulmate! If you loved Ove, you might love shrewd, intelligent, wise, cranky, funny as hell Grandma too. You will recognize the humor and daring thoughts at play. I mention make believe, and at times this book ventures into the realm of magical realism. Usually my experience with magical realism is a positive one, but I did not care for it much here. I think the reason might be that it frequently reminded me of Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane, which I didn't care for at all. So, if you are a fan of that book, you may enjoy this one, too. Elsa is seven years old and different. Her grandmother is 77 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 runs to her grandmother's stories, to the Land of Almost-Awake and the Kingdom of Miamas. There everybody is different, and nobody needs to be normal. Ah! What have I read here? A delightful take on life? A sensitive take on grief? A wise take on relationships? Perhaps all of it. And more. Description: 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 runs to her grandmother's stories, to the Land of Almost-Awake and the Kingdom of Miamas. There, everybody is different and nobody needs to be normal. A rather stupid grandmother with her elderly granddaughter a the central figures. The grand daughter is only seven but behaves like a grown up. Thankfully the stupid, demented grandmother dies half way through but is still remarkably central to the childish story. Harry Potter is better reading than this for an adult and so much of the story is stolen from Harry Potter.”– nigel barnard

But it was mostly just really boring. All the characters were bland. And sometimes it went too far on the imagination front. And on the redeeming-characters front. (Not everybody is awesome, okay?!) After my dad died -when I was 4yrs old- (her son, Max, was only 34), ...she and I became exceptionally close. She died when I was 7. I may have only had those 3 special years with Granda Cookie.. but they were some of my best childhood memories. 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. Wading through this motley hoard of people, Elsa embarks on a voyage of her own, fumbling on realities at every step and growing wiser with every revelation. Reading quality literature like the Harry Potter series comes handy. And so does listening to (and reminiscing) Granny's fairy tales. After all, she is the Knight in the Land-of-Almost-Awake!Among Elsa’s neighbours are eccentric chatterboxes and drunken workaholics, weird hounds and mysterious lurkers. Her mother is her punch-bag over teen issues (if Elsa can be called a teen that is) and her Dad is her word collector who can stand everything except a grammatically incorrect sentence. Well, mostly. Later-- she wrote a paper about her -great grandmother- from our family history. I was touched beyond words. Give the letter to him who's waiting. He won't want to accept it, but tell him it's from me. Tell him your granny sends her regards and says she's sorry" The story takes place in Sweden and follows Elsa, a 7 year old who knows she A Christmas tale has to be written with every pen you own,” Granny used to say. And they have to have happy endings, which is something that Elsa has decided completely on her own." Granny's fairy tales from Miamas was fairly dramatic as a rule. Wars and storms an pursuits and intrigues and stuff, because that was the sort of action stories that Granny liked.

Elsa is “different.” So is Granny (a major understatement). The book has been dinged by several reviewers as being unrealistic. Well, yeah, maybe, but sometimes that little sore point can be overlooked—like with this book. 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. By that point I even thought it might be possible for the tale to wring 4 stars out of me. The plot is unique and really quite profound. Elsa is sent on a “treasure hunt” by her grandmother that requires Elsa to meet everyone in their apartment building. There are specific reasons for Granny to do this. The task is not easy for Elsa, but it turns out to be seriously rewarding. The characters are diverse, very sympathetic, and memorable. I love these books about elderly people and their effect on young children who are “different.” Another thing—this story is quirky and is unlike any I have read before. Major points for that. But overall this is a story of family and its complexities and mysteries, the regrets and mistakes, and triumphs and sacrifices made over the course of a lifetime, atonement, understanding, forgiveness, and embracing individuality. At the centre of this book, is an almost-eight-years old, Elsa. When her best (and quirky) friend, her grandmother, leaves her a series of letters upon her death to be delivered to their intended receivers, she sets onto a thrilling journey of discoveries. What was the primary purpose of the letters you ask? You guessed it. To say sorry.Apart from that, the surprise was wonderful. A Man Called Ove was one of my all-time favorite books, still is. This book, with a quirky, lovable, eccentric, unique cast of characters; its cheeky sense of humor; social commentary and tongue in cheek approach to the absurdities of 'Society', combined with fairy tales in the Harry Potter zeitgeist, kept me cemented to the plot and pathos of an extraordinary as well as entertaining story, written by a highly talented author. Elsa was born on boxing day. Her story was a Christmas Story. And this tale, "My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry", was also going to be one. ... 'Storytelling is the noblest profession of all. The currency there is imagination; instead of buying something with coins you buy it with a good story. Libraries aren’t known as libraries but as ‘banks’ and every fairy tale is worth a fortune.' That was what grandma believed. Who was Elsa to disagree. "A normal story can either be funny or sad or exciting or scary or dramatic or sentimental, but a Christmas tale has to be all those things. Her parents were divorced. They were both living in new blended families. Her mother was pregnant again with Halfie (half-sister or brother); George, the step-dad, could prepare eggs and jog, and loved wearing his jogging shorts over his leggings; Her dad lost touch with reality along time ago when he fell in love with fonts. The chances of him delivering any graphic designs on time is zero. The choice of fonts prevented him from finishing anything. Otherwise, he found happiness with Lizette and her two young children. Elsa felt threatened by the new baby, and lost in her dad's new life.

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