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The Bibliophiliac’s Corner: “My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry”

Article and photo by Amanda Merriman

The Connection writer Amanda Merriman admits she is hopelessly addicted to books.  It has been this way nearly all her life.  Every month she will share what she has been reading with the hope that others will share in her obsession.

Fredrik Backman, an international best selling Swedish novelist, has written another tale to tug at the heartstrings called, “My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry.”  This novel is comparable in some ways to the dark comedic film “Little Miss Sunshine.”   It is bursting with a variety of quirky and flawed, yet endearing characters.  The central character is named Elsa who is a precocious and lonely almost-eight-year-old girl.  The main characters live in the same apartment building, including Elsa’s beloved but slightly “touched” Granny, who defiantly marches to the beat of her own drum.  Granny also happens to be Elsa’s only friend and fiercest defender.  Granny has filled Elsa’s world with elaborate fairy tales that help Elsa cope with her troubles.  Elsa’s world is turned upside down however, when her beloved Granny dies early in the novel.  But from beyond the grave, Granny’s devotion to Elsa abides as Elsa embarks on a mission Granny requested of her prior to her death.  The mission brings the people in Elsa’s life together in unexpected and bittersweet ways.  Although the beginning sections of the novel detailing Granny’s fairy tale worlds can be hard to muddle through, it is worth sticking with this novel to the end.  With this story, Backman gets readers to think about the importance of individuality and intergenerational connections.  His novel also is a beautiful reminder of the way children look at the world and will encourage readers to be cognizant of how adults relate to children.  Fair warning though, readers may want a box of tissues nearby for the last few chapters.

Fellow bibliophiles and book club members, please feel free to join in the dialogue.  Blog your thoughts and feedback at and enter the keyword “bibliophiliac” in the search bar.  Have you read a great book recently?   Don’t keep that juicy tidbit all to yourself.  Email your find to



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