This book ended up going in a completely different direction than I was expecting. That’s the sign of a good book to me, where you are surprised at the way it’s going and are delighted at the same time. It took me a bit to get used to the narration style, because it’s told by a very precocious seven-year-old who sees the world very differently from the way we see it. I found it a very interesting way to tell a story, and while there were some parts that I had to re-read in order to understand what Elsa was saying, I found myself doing that less and less as the book went on.
There are humorous parts and there are sad parts, and the story begins to unravel decades-old mysteries as it goes on, and it’s clear that Elsa doesn’t quite understand everything that’s going on. When things started clicking in my head, I realized just how dark the book was. It’s all handled very delicately, though, and it’s a wonderful credit to Fredrik Backman that he’s able to weave all of the characters together in the way that he does.
I don’t know how to describe this book in language that’s befitting it. It is one of the most heartwarming and yet saddening books I’ve read in a long time. It makes me want to read the rest of Backman’s stories (although not A Man Called Ove, because screw that novel). I know this review is very short, but I think this is a book that should be experienced for one’s self, and not told what it’s about.
I give this book a solid 4.5/5 stars, and I hope you have the opportunity to check this book out in the future.
And as always, keep reading.