This was pretty good. Not as good as A Man Called Ove, but still pretty good.
“People in the real world always say, when something terrible happens, that the sadness and loss and aching pain of the heart will “lessen as time passes,” but it isn’t true. Sorrow and loss are constant, but if we all had to go through our whole lives carrying them the whole time, we wouldn’t be able to stand it. The sadness would paralyze us. So in the end we just pack it into bags and find somewhere to leave it.”
Seven year old Elsa and her crazy grandmother have a really special bond, and spend a lot of time talking about a fantasy world that the grandmother created. Then the grandmother dies, and leaves Elsa a treasure hunt of letters to deliver. As we watch Elsa meet the other people in their apartment building, we see how the grandmother’s pretend world has been based on their real world all along.
I think the weakest point of this book was the pretend world, which is a shame because it’s the whole structure to the novel. But finding out the backstories of each character made up for that, and Elsa makes for a sympathetic and interesting protagonist.