AUTHOR: Fredrik Backman
PUBLISHER: Atria Books
My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry
by Fredrik Backman
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 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.
When Elsa’s grandmother dies and leaves behind a series of letters apologizing to people she has wronged, Elsa’s greatest adventure begins. Her grandmother’s letters lead her to an apartment building full of drunks, monsters, attack dogs, and totally ordinary old crones, but also to the truth about fairytales and kingdoms and a grandmother like no other.
A main character (Granny) loved people of multiple genders throughout her life.
SUGGEST A TROPE:
“Granny wasn’t exactly an uncomplicated person.”
Marcel belly-laughs. You’d have to call it that. A belly-laugh. It’s far too noisy to be a laugh. Elsa likes it a great deal. It’s quite impossible not to.
“Did you and Granny have an affair?” she asks suddenly.
“ELSA!” Mum interrupts, so distressed that the tubes almost come loose.
Offended, Elsa throws out her arms.
“What’s wrong with ASKING?” She turns demandingly to Marcel. “Did you have an affair or not?”
Marcel puts his hands together. Nods with sadness, also happiness. Like when one has eaten a very large ice cream and realizes it is now gone.
“She was the love of my life, Elsa. She was the love of many men’s lives. Women as well, actually.”
“Were you hers?”
Marcel pauses. He doesn’t look angry. Or bitter. Just slightly jealous.
“No,” he says, “That was you. It was always you, dear Elsa.”
Tenderly he reaches out and pats Elsa’s cheek, as you do when you see someone you have loved in the eyes of their grandchild.”