Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman

Britt-Marie Was Here
by
Fredrik Backman

Rating:

Genre: Fiction

Here’s a great feel-good story about a socially awkward woman in a life crisis, a struggling community and what happens when they find each other. Britt-Marie is sixty-one and has been misunderstood her entire life. She accommodates, cleans and keeps things in proper order, hoping that others will appreciate her efforts. It isn’t until she starts fresh and away from her cheating husband, in the financially dilapidated town of Borg, that she is finally noticed.

Borg is in economic distress. It’s a crazy move. Many have lost their jobs and the town is nearly empty when Britt-Marie arrives to be temporary caretaker of the recreation center. But there is a resiliency in the folks who have stayed in town. When an off-course soccer ball knocks her in the head, Britt-Marie soon learns what holds them together. She has come to the right place. Borg needs her.

In a few short weeks, as the people in town embrace her rigid personality, the real and endearing Britt-Marie emerges. Adding interest, Sven, the town’s policeman, is smitten and the beginnings of a sweet courtship may give Britt-Marie another reason to stay.

The plot is driven by an upcoming soccer match for the kids, a rag-tag team without a coach, and a position Britt-Marie soon takes on. She knows nothing about soccer, but that’s okay because everyone helps and she learns that the spirit of the game, as both a player and a fan, is what keeps them going.

This spirit helps the people in town cope with more than joblessness, however. Abuse, abandonment and tragedy have shaped many families, including three siblings, Vega, Omar and Sami, who become family to Britt-Marie. Between these kids and her new friendship with Sven, living in Borg may be the answer to her dreams. A heartbreaking turn forces Britt-Marie to make some difficult choices about staying where she’s finally needed or pursuing a greater dream.

I highly recommend this original story which brings out the best in many of Backman’s characters, even the ones who seem rough in the beginning.

Fans may also like My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, in which Britt-Marie and her husband are characters.

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

 

20 thoughts on “Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman

  1. Barbara, a wonderful review of a book I loved! Makes me want to reread it! I’ve just finished Backman’s ‘Beartown’ and an blown away by it. A masterpiece … very different, intense, compelling … incredible! Luckily I’ve snagged a copy of his latest book on NetGalley which is out in the summer and I can’t wait to read it!

    1. I thought you would like this book. As you know I didn’t like My Grandmother… but Britt-Marie is a great character on her own! Thanks for reading and commenting!

  2. Sounds like a good one! I didn’t really like A Man Called Ove as much as most people seemed to (it seemed a bit depressing to me), but maybe I’ll give him another try with this one.

    1. That’s interesting- I read My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry and I didn’t care for it. I had heard Britt-Marie was good and we read it for my book club. Glad I read it! Thanks for stopping in, Sheila. Hope you are well.

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