Britt-Marie Was Here, by Fredrik Backman

1 May
britt marie was here fredrik backman

Five of Five stars

Fredrik Backman is great at creating characters who live in a box; a box with straight lines and perfect angles, where rules are always followed in order to prevent the downfall of civilization. We were introduced to Britt-Marie in [book:My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry|23604559], and the last we saw of her she was leaving her cheating husband Kent.

This book picks up just days later, when Britt-Marie has to find a job and a place to live. Suddenly she is out of her safe little box and in the middle of the wide, wide world. Or at least in the tiny little town of Borg, Sweden. We follow Britt-Marie as she meets the tough and rough-around-the-edges town people, and struggles to redraw her comfortable box around herself.

Backman is terribly gifted at getting into the minds of his characters, and showing the terrified, mooshy insides of people who have extremely tough exteriors. Britt-Marie is long past middle-age, and drawing a new box is both scary and near impossible. In her new world she needs to find new friends, new loves, new ways of living, and the urge to return to the safety of her old box feels like a much better option than what she is now confronted with.

The book is much like Backman’s characters: a hilarious outer shell surrounds the sadness in the center of the story, but the story is told with such beauty it can take your breath away. I fall in love with all Backman’s characters, and I hope we will soon get to return to this beautiful, difficult world that he has created.

Thank you so much to NetGalley for the chance to review an early edition of this book.

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