Britt-Marie Was Here (Prebound)
Readers of Backman’s second novel, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, will remember Britt-Marie, as a rule-making, nag-bag with an OCD involving cleaning. Britt-Marie is hard to like, and she hasn’t changed much as this novel begins, except that she has taken a step away from her cheating husband, Kent. Britt-Marie lands a temporary job looking after a recreation center in a small town decimated by the financial crisis. In Borg she encounters a cast of characters who are almost as eager to steer clear of her as she is to avoid them. It’s when some children demand her attention that the people of Borg and Britt-Marie begin to change. Backman takes a disillusioned, middle-aged woman, a down-on-its-luck village and delivers a laugh-out-loud novel that is also poignant.— Karen
Sometimes a person is in the mood for comfort food, and for bibliophiles there can sometimes come a yearning for comfort reading. I was in one of those moods recently and Frederik Backman’s Britt-Marie Was Here was as satisfying as homemade macaroni and cheese. Britt-Marie needs her life and her cutlery drawer to be in just the right order, so when her world suddenly shifts, she must take matters into her own hands to put it right, befriending an unemployment office worker and a Snickers-eating rat. But that is just the beginning of a world that expands to include a struggling small town in Sweden with a passion for soccer. You may have met Britt-Marie in Backman’s My Grandmother Asked me to Tell you She’s Sorry. As with that book and A Man Called Ove, the cast of quirky characters is engaging, endearing and ultimately, comforting. (As I was writing this review, a boxed set of all three books arrived at the store—a perfect Mother’s Day gift!)— Mary
May 2016 Indie Next List
“Backman's incomparable novels celebrate and revolve around unlikely protagonists: a curmudgeonly widower in A Man Called Ove; a girl on the autism spectrum in My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry; and now Britt-Marie, an order-obsessed, cleanliness-loving woman of a certain age. Having left her two-timing husband, Britt-Marie takes a job in the small, depressed town of Borg, and magic begins to happen. Britt-Marie Was Here is another warmhearted delight!”
— Carol Schneck Varner, Schuler Books & Music, Okemos, MI
The New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove and My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry returns with this heartwarming 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.