Britt-Marie Was Here

“What should you know about Britt-Marie? She is difficult, demanding, socially awkward, and set in her ways – but also loyal, honest, brave and carrying a heavy burden in her heart.”

Peter Borland, VP President and Editorial Director, Atria Books

An advance reader copy was provided free of charge
by Atria Books through NetGalley
in exchange for my honest opinion.

438-days

Britt-Marie Was Here

Author:  Fredrik Backman
Atrial Books May 2016
ARC e-reader (978-1-5011-4255-0)
Hardcover: (978-1-5011-4253-6)
Genre: Fiction    384 pages

girl-soccer-player

★★★★

 Originally published in 2014 in Swedish as Britt-Marie var här by Partners in Stories, Stockholm Sweden.

My very favorite book of 2014 was Man Called Ove by the same author.  I pushed aside every other book on my next-to-read list when given an advanced reading copy of Britt-Marie Was Here.

I have to admit that at first glance, I was disappointed.  The opening salvos over cutlery and the repetitive assurance from Britt-Marie that she doesn’t judge anyone but… then she is off and running about missing coasters for beverages and to quote her, “incredibly incredibly successful husband, Kent”.  It was obvious that Britt-Marie was upset about something but it was getting tough to stay around and decipher her distress.

But read on I did, because Backman’s characters are just that…true characters and take some getting used to.   As the chapters flowed along, more facts were revealed, more residents of Borg entered her life and the story took shape, I grew to like the book very much.  There is sadness, humor, despair, grief, love, sacrifice, and character growth throughout.

When it became apparent that soccer was a central element to the story I wasn’t sure how it would all work out.  But it does.  I repeat Peter Borland’s words. I would like readers to remember them as they first meet Britt-Marie,

“What should you know about Britt-Marie? She is difficult, demanding, socially awkward, and set in her ways – but also loyal, honest, brave and carrying a heavy burden in her heart.” 

All very true.

Revealing anything more would ruin your time spent with Britt-Marie.  I promise, by the end of the book, you will learn to like and to love her.

Recommended reading.

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