From the moment I read A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman, I was completely hooked on his books. The characters in his books are quirky, unique and very loveable.
Britt-Marie is a complicated woman; she too is quirky. She was introduced in his book titled My Grandmother Told Me to Tell You She’s Sorry. In this book Britt-Marie is cranky, a bit of a nag, obsessive-compulsive, nosy and she follows the rules exactly and is frustrated when others don’t do as she expects.
In Britt-Marie Was Here, she is back. The story digs into her life and we get a better understanding of why she is the way she is. The story is heartwarming and you will recognize Britt-Marie, we all have known someone like her. Her life has changed, drastically, fallen apart and she is a mess, a lost soul with no compass to guide her.
She has found herself alone with no job, no one needs her and without being needed, she has no purpose. Britt-Marie pesters a woman at the employment office so much that the poor woman avoids her, but Britt-Marie is always there not to be ignored. Finally, a temporary job opens up that will require Britt-Marie to move to the small village of Borg, and she packs her belongs and sets off on her own. Borg is dying and the people of the town have their homes for sale and are desperately trying to move away.
Britt-Marie arrives, and is ready to look after the recreation center and takes her job very seriously. She meets a few of the townspeople and goes about taking care of the center, once again she feels needed, yet she struggles. Britt-Marie has no home and for awhile stays in the center, befriending a mouse who listens to her as she talks, while she feeds it Snicker’s candy bars. She moves through her days barely able to function until a group of kids wiggle their way into her heart and soul, along with the town Sheriff, Sven.
Britt-Marie is pushed out of her cocoon, and like a butterfly, she begins to discover herself and find her voice. She is needed again and she embraces the people of the town, until the past knocks on her door.
Will Britt-Marie follow the familiar path or follow her heart?
If you haven’t read any of the books by Fredrik Backman, I hope you will pick one up and read it. I love his writing. His characters are all flawed, live with issues, but are weirdly familiar. You may recognize the personalities and traits in someone you know. He brings humor into serious situations.
The stories he writes and the characters he creates will weave themselves into the fabric of your soul. They cozy in like a warm blanket and will live there long after you finish the book. You may find you will have compassion and understanding of each character.
You don’t need to read Your Grandmother Told Me To Tell You She’s Sorry first, before Britt-Marie was Here. If you read them in reverse order, you will have more of an understanding of her when you read Your Grandmother. Either way is fine.
If you choose to read any of his books, please jump back over here and let me know what you think. I am anxiously awaiting his newest book Bear Town coming in April.
Until the next book, I hope you will Bee Readin’,