Britt-Marie Was Here by Frederik Backman



I love the author’s style of gradually revealing contradictory bits and pieces about the characters.  It takes us a while to get to know each of them , and almost as long to decide to like them.

Britt-Marie is crotchety, snobby, set in her ways and judgmental.  Or, that’s what I thought when I started reading.  The more I read the more I enjoyed her.  Just like in the author’s previous books, our main character is far more than meets the eye.

This is a story about a middle aged woman leaving her husband and ending up in an isolated poverty stricken town.  That said, it’s pretty funny.  Here’s a line I noted as particularly clever:  “Somebody has one of the worst hairstyles Britt-Marie has ever laid eyes on, as if she’s combed her hair with a terrified animal.”  It’s also a bit melancholy:  “Britt-Marie stayed awake all night.  She’s used to that, as people are when they have lived their entire lives for someone else.”


To really appreciate this gem of a book I recommend reading My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry.  We meet Britt Marie in that book and get quite a bit of her backstory.


Source:  ARC from publisher

Audience:  adults.  This would be a great pick for a book group.


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