Bookreview|My grandmother sends her regards and apologises
I read the Vietnamese version and wrote a book review in English. Forgive me if I make some mistakes while sharing my thoughts. Thank you.
I've read My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologies by Fredrik Backman. I haven't felt comfortable and peaceful a long time ago for a book until I read this book. This feeling lasts quite a long because it not only makes me happy but also gives me many life lessons. I guarantee you will love this book if you are a child lover or you used to be a kid.
Many readers complain about it because of Elsa, the protagonist of the book who is very intelligent and precocious. To me, everything happens for a reason and a 7-year-old girl could be well grown up for her age in the fiction book. Let's imagine working on this interesting book.
Many read A Man Called Ove before My Grandmother sends her regards and Apologies, but I am different. My friend from my book club recommended it to me first, so I can't compare the two books in this review.
It's hard to say what I liked the most, each part of the story was equally enjoyable. In the beginning chapters, I laughed a lot due to the sense of humor in books. I love the way Elsa's grandmother looks at the world and follows her own set of rules. She is the kind of woman who has a driving license in seven other nations, but not in the one she actually lives in. She’s ready to throw “poop" at police who catch her because she breaks into the zoo. She also creates her own fairy tales for her life and tells them to Elsa.
Elsa's grandmother has two special abilities: saving lives and driving people crazy. And after she passes away, she assigns responsibility to Elsa who helps her send regards and apologies to those whose lives she saved and who may have driven crazy. This is also the last lesson that Elsa's grandmother wants to teach her. I think this is the messenger related to love, family, and human nature of the author to his readers.
All the people living in a big old building have their own story, sometimes they have different types of bad behavior as both Elsa and her grandmother complain but her grandmother loves all of them. At the end of the story, Elsa learns how to forgive and accept all kinds of people who behave badly.
Elsa forgives her mother. She realizes the reason why her mother doesn't spend her time with her daughter. This is because her grandmother saves the world instead of taking care of her mother.
Elsa used to hate Halfie (a half-sister or brother), but now she loves him/her.
Else accepts the divorce of her parents, understanding that both of them used to love each other, but were not a good match. She respects both because they love her.
Elsa stops feeling resentful toward her grandmother’s death due to her cancer and the mistakes of her mother in her childhood.
She even learns to see past the grumpy exterior of Britt-Marie, who used to be a sad and neglected child.
Each adult used to be a child, each child inside us used to grow with a fragile heart. And the current version of us is the result of trauma and lessons we suffered from in our childhood. We often judge others at the time we meet them, forgetting the journey that they are cultivated. There are many books, and authors' quotes about it, but Fredrik Backman brings it to the story very skillfully. I realized it at a slow pace, and I totally absorbed this lesson with an open heart naturally. I also forgive some people around me a little bit as the way Elsa forgives people around her. I also accept myself and forgive myself for bad behavior.
None of the characters in Grandmother's story are totally bad or totally good. Some people are like trash because both Elsa and her grandmother didn't like their behavior at that time. After all, her grandmother hides their bad things from their good things. And she hopes others treat her the way she treats others.
Interestingly, the author doesn't mention the name of Elsa's grandmother. I like it because she's a superhero. And the thing that makes people remember the superhero is their action instead of their name.
I am not a lucky girl because I don't have any grandparents who are willing to tell fairy tales to me. However, I appreciate Fredrik Backman who brings a cute grandma in the imagination, teaching me to love and accept others.