Read this Book!!!
Once in a while I read a book that changes things. Something that sets itself apart from the rest and genuinely moves me. There’ll be maybe two a year that I will put into this category so we’re talking about a success rate of roughly 3%. Previous winners have been “The Shock of the fall” by Nathan Filer, “We were Liars” By E.Lockhart and “Elizabeth is Missing” by Emma Healey. To clarify, I’m not talking about books I enjoyed but rather the books that I became emotionally invested in. In complete honesty there may have been some tears on the tube reading these. I’m glad to say that a new book has made its way into this list.
A couple of weeks ago I broke my phone screen. It was a stupid accident that almost led to a full melt down in Starbucks and put me in a foul mood. As I usually do in these situations I went book shopping to cheer myself up. All I can say is that I’m glad I broke my phone, otherwise I might not have discovered “My Grandmother sends her regards and apologies” by Frederik Backman.
The story is that seven year old Elsa must delve into her Granny’s past and work out the truth behind the magical fairy tales she’s been told for years. All of the people in the apartment block they live in turn out to have been characters from the land of almost awake and their own stories are told to us through Elsa’s eyes. From the saddest sea angel to the mighty wolfheart we learn about Granny’s legacy and the people she has helped for many years.
Read this book! Seriously people, just read this book! This is one of the best examples I have found of character development, descriptions, dialogue, plot and narration working in true harmony together. Usually you’d get two or three of them, four if you are very lucky. To have all five of these essential literary tools working together is pure bliss for the reader.
I really don’t want to give too much away. The truth to this book is that each chapter is a new reveal and I’d hate to ruin the surprise for you that I felt throughout this novel. All I can say is to prepare yourself to chuckle through the first few chapters and then slowly fall in love. It’s funny, sentimental, harrowing, beautiful and shocking. You will laugh out loud and if you don’t have serious will power I wouldn’t recommend reading it in public as you will be in tears through the last couple of chapters. Not in a horrifically sad way but in a recognition of past losses we have all felt.
This is where the book triumphs. Backman brilliantly portrays scenes that we have all experienced before in a way that is highly relatable and hauntingly familiar. Be it the loss of a loved one or the feeling of being just a little bit different from those around us, we identify with Elsa and are brought back to an age where these situations hit us so much harder than they do when we’re older.
Who should read this book? Everyone. This isn’t me rushing my conclusion, I genuinely think that everything should read this book. Apparently it’s the 27th book I’ve read so far this year but it’s easily the most memorable. It’s also going to take something seriously special to knock it off the top spot on my list. What books have meant the most to you? Have you ever come close to blubbing on the train because of fictional characters?