2015 Sceptre Books
To most people, seven-year-old Elsa’s granny is eccentric, if not crazy. To Elsa, she’s a superhero. One with a superpower like no other: STORYTELLING
When Granny leaves Elsa a mysterious series of letters apologising to those she has wronged, her stories come to life in ways Elsa could never have imagined, sending her on a breathtaking adventure of her own…
Elsa has a wonderful relationship with her Grandmother who educates her about the world through the medium of fairytales, all set in a magical world created by Granny. As this story progresses Elsa begins to understand her Grandmother’s tales are linked with her world and identifies some familiar figures.
This was an enjoyable read, particularly Elsa’s relationship with her Granny who completely has her back, in a world where Elsa seems very much alone. Elsa describes herself as ‘different’ and suffers horrendous bullying on a daily basis, which Elsa’s Granny understands and helps her escape from through their shared parallel world where Elsa is a hero. Interspersed with the main story were the fairytales set in the imaginary land, as the story progresses Elsa and the reader were able to link these stories with the main story and the characters in it. This worked better for me later in the book when I was more familiar with the characters and could see their stories unfolding within the fairytale told by Granny.
With some similar themes to Ove in terms of community, loss, grief and healing and some equally quirky characters, this book drifted too far into the mythical land of fairytales for me to love but was an enjoyable read none the less. Introducing Britt Marie who is the title character in another Backman book and providing a decent amount of intrigue to make me want to read this next book pretty soon.