by: Fredrik Backman
Translator: Henning Koch
Published by:Atria Books
Genres:Young Adult, Contemporary
Setting: Borg, Sweden
Britt-Marie can’t stand mess. A disorganized cutlery drawer ranks high on her list of unforgivable sins. She is not one to judge others—no matter how ill-mannered, unkempt, or morally suspect they might be. It’s just that sometimes people interpret her helpful suggestions as criticisms, which is certainly not her intention. But hidden inside the socially awkward, fussy busybody is a woman who has more imagination, bigger dreams, and a warmer heart that anyone around her realizes.
When Britt-Marie walks out on her cheating husband and has to fend for herself in the miserable backwater town of Borg—of which the kindest thing one can say is that it has a road going through it—she finds work as the caretaker of a soon-to-be demolished recreation center. The fastidious Britt-Marie soon finds herself being drawn into the daily doings of her fellow citizens, an odd assortment of miscreants, drunkards, layabouts. Most alarming of all, she’s given the impossible task of leading the supremely untalented children’s soccer team to victory. In this small town of misfits, can Britt-Marie find a place where she truly belongs?
He’s small and chubby and has a head of hair like a lawn the day after an impromptu barbecue.
Britt-Marie is originally a character from Fredrik Backman’s book ‘ My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry’. When Britt-Marie leaves her cheating husband to strike out on her own, she learns it’s hard to start a new life as a sixty-something woman.
Fredrik Backman writes the most amazing characters and Britt-Marie is one of his best. She is passive aggressive, judgmental, and set in her ways. She sees everyone around her as obstacles to keeping her OCD world clean and tidy.
I loved, ‘My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell She’s Sorry.’ In that book it is so easy to dislike Britt-Marie. In ‘Britt-Marie Was Here’ we learn more of her back story and her life struggles and she becomes much more of a relatable character.
Britt-Marie demonstrates amazing growth in this story. Even though she is older and set in her ways, Britt-Marie really learns what it means to get outside her comfort zone and challenge her beliefs and ideals.
It was extremely interesting to me that as part of Britt-Marie’s growth in this story she begins to realize that many of her judgements and prejudices are not her own but her husband’s. This is interesting commentary on how many women in male dominated relationships lose themselves and their own opinions.
This story really held a lot of potential for me. It has amazing characters, a great plot and good set of secondary storylines. I loved ninety percent of the book but the ending just didn’t do it for me. This would have been a five star read for me otherwise. I still would highly recommend this book based on the rest of the story and Backman is still one of my favorite authors.
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