The bestselling author of A Man Called Ove and My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry returns with an irresistible novel about finding love and second chances in the most unlikely of places.
Britt-Marie can’t stand mess. A disorganized cutlery drawer ranks high on her list of unforgivable sins. She begins her day at 6 a.m., because only lunatics wake up later than that. And she is not passive-aggressive. Not in the least. It's just that sometimes people interpret her helpful suggestions as criticisms, which is certainly not her intention. She is not one to judge others—no matter how ill-mannered, unkempt, or morally suspect they might be.
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 is more than a little unprepared. Employed as the caretaker of a soon-to-be demolished recreation center, the fastidious Britt-Marie has to cope with muddy floors, unruly children, and a (literal) rat for a roommate. She finds herself being drawn into the daily doings of her fellow citizens, an odd assortment of miscreants, drunkards, layabouts—and a handsome local policeman whose romantic attentions to Britt-Marie are as unmistakable as they are unwanted. 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 big-hearted misfits, can Britt-Marie find a place where she truly belongs?
Funny and moving, observant and humane, Britt-Marie Was Here celebrates the unexpected friendships that change us forever, and the power of even the gentlest of spirits to make the world a better place.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This book starts off like one of those irritating Amelia Bedelia creations for kids: a dolt at the forefront who is so literal that she invariably messes up anything she touches. But then ... not too far in, Britt-Marie begins to acquire dimensions and, even more important, she evolves into a truly sympathetic character. A woman who's been put down in one way or another for her entire life, of course she comforts herself (and rewards others) by cleaning everything in sight, making the view of her immediate world acceptable, even pleasing. Having accepted a job overseeing the recreation center in a financially devastated town, without actually trying, her presence begins to make itself felt. At the core of it all is the local children's passion for soccer--a game about which she knows nothing. It's quite an accomplishment for author Backman to make us care about all the characters in this novel. And we do care - particularly about Britt-Marie who scarcely knows herself after a...
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Many of my friends have been talking up A Man Called Ove, by Frederik Backman, but I have not yet read it. I therefore jumped at the chance to read an advanced copy of his new book, Britt-Marie Was Here. I now understand my friends' enthusiasm for this author.
The novel tells the tale of Britt-Marie who is the kind of woman who puts everyone else's needs ahead of her own, not believing that she deserves much in this life. Determined to do something useful when she leaves her husband and her secure city life, she finds a job in a small, impoverished town filled with characters and infused with the love of soccer.
She is a very rigid person, who is sometimes downright annoying, but to her credit, she is somewhat self-aware and she is not afraid to engage in self-examination. The story follows her life and personal growth in the small town. Throughout, I kept thinking that the novel would end in one of two formulaic ways, and I knew that either of those endings...
Britt-Marie was Here is the best book I've read this year. Simply put, it is fantastic.
Britt-Marie is difficult, frustrating and socially awkward. She is also insensitive and kind of rude. A minor character in My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry, Britt-Marie was instantly disliked in that book and is not well liked in the beginning of this one either. However, Fredrik Backman has this endearing way of making old curmudgeons likeable and being extremely successful at it (i.e. Ove and Britt-Marie). Her character, her ocd, her social ineptitude.. they grow on you. Here, we find out why she is the way she is and we discover that, due to her childhood and her marriage, she has felt invisible her whole life. She has trouble figuring out who she really is and is fanatical simply because it is the only thing she can control. Upon losing everything, she decides to find a job and is forced to move to a small town. In the process she finds a sense of humor, discovers that...
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