And this was Book 2 of my vacation reads. LOVE LOVE LOVE it! And thank you, Fredrik Backman, for a wonderful book which did NOT have me ugly crying at the end--I appreciate it.
I love the spunk of Elsa, the 7-year-old main character who is obsessed with Harry Potter and lives in an apartment building across the hall from her absolutely off-the-wall-crazy grandmother. Granny has spent the last seven years with Elsa creating a magical kingdom called Miamas, populated with magical creatures and fantasy characters. When Granny suddenly dies and Elsa is tasked with delivering posthumous apology letters from Granny, she learns that the stories Granny created were metaphors for the people who populate Elsa's actual world. And she learns much more about her Granny than she ever imagined. One of the last things her Granny asked of Elsa was, "Promise you won't hate me when you find out who I've been." It's a struggle, but Elsa keeps this promise. And she learns that there is real power in being different. And that all seven-year-olds should have superheroes.
It's been ages since I read a book which made me cry, but this one definitely did. What a gem! Ove (pronounced "oova") is a curmudgeon, pure and simple. He just wants to be left alone to die. Period. Unfortunately for Ove's plans, the Universe interferes in the guise of a pregnant next door neighbor, her ungainly and uncoordinated husband, their two adorable children, the large neighborhood computer geek, and a host of other characters who keep thwarting Ove's best laid plans for suicide. And thank God. Because otherwise this book would be over far too soon. I found myself smiling, giggling, laughing out loud, and actually CHORTLING as I listened to this book. But the ending found me crying in my car on the way to work. I can't tell you how happy I am I picked this one. You will be, too. (And for those of you playing along, I'm checking this off my 12 x 12 list as "a book you've been meaning to read.")