It is safe to say that Fredrik Backman is my new favourite author, between this and A Man called Ove he has completely won me over. The only downside to reading his books is that I may have a bit of an odd reputation at the driving school because I was AGAIN in tears there thanks to reading this book.
There is something about the way he writes that just draws you in, I loved those characters. I felt their pain and their joy. I wanted to be there with them all! There is no character that lets this book down in any way, they all have depth and reasons to explain their odd quirks.
This is a fairy tale to a degree in the way that it is written and you do have to suspend reality a bit (what is a wurse after all!) Mostly though it’s the story of a girl with a unique grandmother. They have a special bond and her granny is a tad nuts but in an extraordinary and eccentric way. Elsa is an almost eight year old (that’s how she is referred to and I find it endearing) who doesn’t fit in at school and is bullied. Her grandmother creates a whole kingdom and amazing stories to make Elsa feel like a brave and valiant Knight. The detail of these stories is incredible – you want to visit the kingdom by the end! Being made to feel that being different is a gift saves Elsa from being miserable.
Elsa lives with her mother and step father in a block of flats, her grandmother lives in the flat next door. All the neighbours play a part in the story, they are all totally different and interesting.
Sadly tragedy strikes, this sets off a huge adventure for Elsa where she learns all about her grandmother, warts and all as it were. She also learns about her mother and father and step-father as well as the neighbours.
This is a plot I lost myself in completely, I sobbed my heart out at parts and I laughed out loud at other parts. I could go on and on about it all, but that would steal the magic from you and that would be wrong.
PLEASE go and get this and A Man Called Ove, I can’t imagine anyone regretting reading this. It’s uplifting in the end and shows the power of love and imagination. Now I just have to wait till Mr.Backman writes another one…fingers crossed he becomes a prolific writer! I have even become a fan of his so I will get word the second the next book is published!