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.
My take: 5 looks
One of my favorite authors, this one did not disappoint. I adore getting to know the characters more book-to-book, and seeing the various plots from differing perspectives. In this one, our main character is Elsa, an almost-eight-year-old only child with a half-sibling on its way (called “Halfie”). Her world is rocked when her beloved granny dies and leaves behind a series of letters to deliver on her behalf.
What follows is quite the adventure. Elsa meets new people, faces fears, reconnects with her father, sees her mother in a new light, and reaches a better understanding of who her grandmother was. The story brought tears to my eyes, as well as made me laugh out loud.
Bachman’s writing is so entertaining and complete in drawing the reader into the story that his books are always a pleasure to read. If you are reading his oeuvre (thanks to David A. for a reintroduction to this beautiful word), my suggestion is:
A Man Called Ove
My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry
Britt-Marie was Here
Enjoy this highly recommended trio of treasures!