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Britt-Marie Was Here
Cover of Britt-Marie Was Here
Britt-Marie Was Here
A Novel
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The New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry, and Anxious People captivates readers with this "warm and satisfying" (People) story "about a...
The New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry, and Anxious People captivates readers with this "warm and satisfying" (People) story "about a...
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Description-

  • The New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry, and Anxious People captivates readers with this "warm and satisfying" (People) story "about a woman rediscovering herself after a personal crisis...fans of Backman will find another winner in these pages" (Publishers Weekly).
    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?

    Funny and moving, sweet and inspiring, Britt-Marie Was Here celebrates the importance of community and connection in a world that can feel isolating.

About the Author-

  • Fredrik Backman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry, Britt-Marie Was Here, Beartown, Us Against You, and Anxious People, as well as two novellas and one work of nonfiction. His books are published in more than forty countries. He lives in Stockholm, Sweden, with his wife and two children. Connect with him on Facebook and Twitter @BackmanLand and on Instagram @Backmansk.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 7, 2016
    The bestselling author of A Man Called Ove returns with this heartwarming story about a woman rediscovering herself after a personal crisis. Sixty-three-year-old Britt-Marie is a gentle, extremely straightforward and believably flawed protagonist who, after walking out on her husband of 40 years, gets a job as the caretaker of the almost-defunct Recreational Center in the fictional European town of Borg. Here she meets several characters including two young children—Vega and Omar, whose off-beat personalities and lifestyles contribute to her growing self-confidence and growth. Backman reveals Britt-Marie’s need for order and her obsession with bicarbonate soda and Faxin—a cleaning agent—with clear, tight descriptions. The true highlight is Backman’s exposition of Britt-Marie’s subtle actions—like the way she rubs her ring finger—and thoughts. These details of Britt-Marie’s character, what her husband cited as her being “socially incompetent,” increasingly endear her to the reader. Insightful and touching, this is a sweet and inspiring story about truth and transformation. Fans of Backman’s will find another winner in these pages.

  • Kirkus

    March 15, 2016
    The latest in a trio of thematically similar books by the bestselling Swedish author of My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry (2015), etc. Like Backman's debut, A Man Called Ove (2014), this latest novel features an older, very particular protagonist forced to navigate a challenging set of circumstances. Readers will remember the titular Britt-Marie as the "nag-bag" from My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry. In that book, and to a greater extent in this one, Britt-Marie's compulsive fastidiousness is explained by her tragic past and history of being neglected and diminished by those around her. Having left her husband after recognizing his faithlessness, she finds herself in Borg, a tiny, economically depressed "community built along a road." Borg is almost Dickensian in its circumstances. Most of the town has been shut down, most of the residents have left, and the ragtag bunch remaining includes orphaned children, a criminal, a former star of the local football team (now blind), and the proprietor of the only business in town--who's in a wheelchair and also probably an alcoholic. But they are all supremely pure of heart and loving toward each other. All Borg needs to be brought back to life is for Britt-Marie to arrive and literally set about cleaning the place, transforming herself in the process. In this way, the novel feels clunky and contrived, something the earlier books narrowly avoided. Backman has always played fast and loose with internal logic; without the smart pacing displayed in his previous books, the problem is more glaring here. Fans of Backman's style or of the metaphoric powers of football will enjoy what this novel has to offer, but it needed to simmer longer.

    COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    April 1, 2016
    In Backman's (My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry, 2015) latest, ever the dutiful, long-suffering wife Britt-Marie leaves her boorish husband when she discovers his infidelity. At 63, with no job experience and little life experience to speak of, Britt-Marie is fortunate to land a dubious position as a caretaker at a nearly defunct recreation center in the nearly defunct Swedish village of Borg. The job entails cleaning, at which Britt-Marie excels, and serving as the den mother and coach to the town's ragtag team of footballers. Obsessive-compulsive, virtually humorless, and otherwise ill-prepared to lead a bunch of challenging teens, Britt-Marie nonetheless wins their love and respect and, along the way, figures out how to be a person in her own right. The theme of the awakening of an unappreciated, invisible woman has been done before, of course, but in Backman's scattershot community of losers and loners, Britt-Marie's metamorphosis from cocoon to butterfly seems all the more remarkable for the utterly discouraging environment in which it takes place.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2016, American Library Association.)

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