I finished this book last night… and immediately went back to the start to read it again. I loved this story! It was the kind of love where I got irrationally angry about having to do things like get off the train, or go to work, or… y’know… eat… because those things meant I had to put the book down.
The story starts with nearly-eight-year-old Elsa and her Granny, and follows Elsa as she goes on a treasure hunt. The clues for the treasure hunt are letters for Elsa to deliver, in which her Granny sends her regards and apologises. I don’t want to give away any more than that, because the story is so beautifully told, and just trust me, you want to read it and watch the narrative unwind as it’s supposed to without me spoiling it!
Backman explores themes of grief and regret through the eyes of his precocious seven year old protagonist, as well as painting a gorgeous picture of family, and what that means. In the blurb, storytelling is referred to as a superpower, and I think it’s no exaggeration to say that this is Backman’s superpower. To be completely honest, I can’t even tell you exactly why this story touched me so much – but something about this contemporary fairytale got properly under my skin and into my imagination.