Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman

Review published on November 4, 2016.

Britt-Marie is an acquired taste. It’s not that she’s judgemental, or fussy, or difficult – she just expects things to be done in a certain way. A cutlery drawer should be arranged in the right order, for example (forks, knives, then spoons). We’re not animals are we?

Behind the pedantic, passive-aggressive busybody is a woman with more imagination, bigger dreams and a warmer heart than anyone around her realises.

When Britt-Marie finds herself unemployed, separated from her husband of twenty years, left to fend for herself in the miserable provincial backwater of Borg – of which the kindest thing one can say is that it has a road running through it – and somehow tasked with running the local football team, she is a little unprepared….

I have read all of Fredrik Backman’s books. They are all a mixture of sadness and laughter, with irritating and miserable characters who somehow manage to get under your skin. Backman’s first book, A Man called Ove, is one of my favourite books and this book is not quite as good as that, in my opinion.

However, it follows the same pattern and the author has a great gift for bringing out the individual traits of all his characters.

A small criticism would be that the author’s books have become formulaic, always involving an outsider and loner who becomes part of a community. However, saying that, each book is individual, with lots of gentle humour. The translation from Swedish is flawless.

I loved the book and would read any future book by this author.

If you haven’t read A Man called Ove then I would recommend you add it to your reading list. You won’t be disappointed.

This book is one to read on a cold winter’s night, since it will warm your heart and leave you feeling good about the world.

Dorothy Flaxman 4/3

Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman
Sceptre 9781473617209 hbk Jul 2016

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