If I could work out how Backman can write about people with such tenderness and gentle understanding, without sliding into sentimentality, I could bottle it and make a fortune.
Failing that, I can order another Backman book. This is the first of his I read, and I have read two others since, so I can confirm that Backman has got this down to an art.
The plot of this book is deceptively simple. A young girl's beloved and eccentric grandmother dies, leaving the girl letters to deliver to others - to send her regards and apologies. The meat of the story lies in what the grandmother apologises for, and what the girl learns about people she only thought she knew. Including her grandmother.
It's a journey well worth taking.
There are clear themes here, nominally: the importance of stories; the honesty of children; and the obtuseness of most adults, putting him firmly in league with the likes of Roald Dahl and Neil Gaiman. A touching, sometimes funny, often wise portrait of grief. - KirkusThe author's lightness of touch is definitely a contributor towards the novel's success. (It's already a best seller in his native country.) Fredrik conveys much in a few words . . . However a special warning to the ladies summed up in three words: wear waterproof mascara! I read the last few chapters verging between heart-glowing smiles and heart-wrenching sobs. I'll be ready for it the next few times I read it though and, indeed, the times after that. - The BookbagTold with the same comic accuracy and beating heart as [OVE] . . . It is a story about life and death and one of the most important human rights: the right to be different. - Laura's Little Book BlogA highly compelling read and it was easy to lose myself in the story - Off the Shelf blog
The hilarious, heart-breaking new novel by the author of the international bestseller A MAN CALLED OVE.