This book is written by Fredrik Backman, who wrote A Man Called Ove, which I read a couple of years ago and loved. It was a news story in my Facebook feed about the American remake of the Swedish film adaptation of A Man Called Ove that led me to both watch the Swedish film (which was excellent) and read this book.
Ironically, it is similar in theme to the previous book I reviewed: The Wish List by Ruby Hummingbird, but whereas that was an example of taking a good premise and ruining it with atrocious writing, this took a good premise and made it better.
Elsa is a small girl who shares a strong bond with her grandmother even sharing a made up language and stories about an imaginary place beyond dreams. When her grandmother dies, Elsa is sent on a treasure hunt which leads her to discovering the back stories of many of the other residents of the apartment building where she lives as well as her own family’s story.
There are a lot of difficult and quite adult themes to be worked through, and although it is a ‘feel good’ book ultimately, it is by no means superficially nicey nicey.
I liked it a lot.