Book Review of a Title Too Long.

My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologises by Fredrik Backman. | Photo by Nudge-Book.
Kingdoms & grandmothers. | Photo by Nudge-Book.

I’ve read books with titles so short that they come in only a word (‘Unbroken‘ by Laura Hillenbrand, her other titles include ‘Seabiscuit‘ which won the William Hill Sports Book of the Year in 2001 and became a movie of the same title in 2003, starring Toby Maguire), or many words (‘Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix‘ by J. K. Rowling). I never thought I’d ever come across another book with an equally long title! And one that seems to be more than a mouthful too!

Welcome to Fredrik Backman’s next book called ‘My Grandmother Sends Her Regards & Apologises‘ (click the link to read the book’s official synopsis on Goodreads). I was tickled pink by the odd title and equally taken aback as it cost RM69.90! Why would anyone pay so much for a book whose title almost makes no sense to me? Who is this author anyway? I’ve never heard of him before. I picked up the book at Border’s Malaysia and read the synopsis on the back cover. Hmmm, fairy-tales and kingdoms and a grandmother who breaks every rule in the world. Okay, it sounds much better and safer to read than my mentally-disturbing World War 2 books anyway. Right, I’ll give this a try. What harm could come to me reading a book on knights and fantasy worlds?

Frankly, I’m not done with the book yet. I just wanted to talk about it because it is an interesting one. I like how the story began, with Elsa (the main character) talking about how every seven-year olds like herself need a superhero. And in her case, her superhero was her grandmother. Told from the point of view of a seven-year old, Elsa lives with her mother and stepfather in a townhouse. Her grandmother used to live next door (I think) to her until she was hospitalised and sent to live in an old folks’ home due to her ailing health. If there’s one thing that is extraordinary in this book, it is Elsa’s grandmother. Despite her old age and failing health, she has never been one to bide by the rules. Often found breaking them instead and constantly being hauled to the police station, Elsa’s grandmother feels that society is too strict for her liking and relishes in living the remainder of her life on her own terms. That would have been fine if she hadn’t dragged Elsa along in her crazy schemes! But there is always more than meets the eye. A twist here and a turn there, the novel will become more than just a story book.

I won’t say anymore because it would seem as though I’m about to spoil the surprises that the book has in store for you. But so far, from what I’ve read, I think it is going to be an adventurous and exciting book for me. And I’m going to enjoy every word, page and chapter of it right until the very end. What a strange title indeed.

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