Author: Fredrik Backman
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At 63 years old, Britt-Marie is used to living for others and very set in her ways, so it takes a lot to convince her to leave her husband of 40 years. This is the beginning of the path that leads her to the small, crumbling town of Brog where the residents may need her as much as she needs them. Through a number of unexpected adventures, from coaching a soccer team despite her previous hatred of the sport to the romantic advances of a kind policeman, she just might learn to live for herself.
As soon as I read the publisher’s note at the beginning of this book about how Fredrik Backman had managed to write another character a bit curmudgeonly, “hard to like…but easy to love”, I knew I was in for a treat. Both this book and Backman’s A Man Called Ove are about older people, but they’re also about things we all struggle with – trying to start a new phase in your life; wanting to make a difference and be truly seen by the people around you; and longing for order and meaning. I found Britt-Marie’s fear of starting over and her struggle to put herself first very relatable.
Like A Man Called Ove, I found this a surprisingly moving book. It’s one of my favorite types of books, where a bunch of people come together and help make each others’ lives better. Everything about, from the cover to the font to the cute cartoon drawings at the beginning of each chapter, is adorable. But the best part is the characters. The way the author slowly reveals details about each made it feel just like getting to know someone in real life. They all felt like real people with their flaws and their histories, hopes and desires. This didn’t blow me away quite as much as A Man Called Ove, in part because it’s what I expected after the first book and in part because I’d have liked the ending to be even neater and more settled than it was, but I did really enjoy it.
Lory @ Emerald City Book Review
I haven’t yet read this author, but I’m very interested – and your review makes this one sound right up my alley. Thanks!
I definitely think you’d like it too! 🙂
I just read Fredrik Backman’s My Grandma Sends Her Apologies And Regards. I like his imaginative writing. It’s endearing 🙂
That’s the only one of his books I haven’t read yet, but I’d like too! The two I’ve read were so sweet. Endearing is a good word for them 🙂
I’m falling far behind on Backman’s books, but I’d like to read them all! The courage of this woman leaving a 40 year old marriage appeals to me.
You definitely should! I think you’d enjoy them 🙂 I liked A Man Called Ove a little better, but this one was also pretty wonderful.