Monday, March 5, 2018

Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman

Translator: Henning Koch
Paperback: 298 pages                                                                                                 
Genre: Fiction, Swedish Fiction,
Publisher: Sceptre 2016
Source: Tywyn Public Library
First Sentences: Forks. Knives. Spoons. In that order.
Favourite Quote: “One morning you wake up with more life behind you than in front of you, not being able to understand how it’s happened.”
Review Quote: 'Brilliant mix of belly-laughs' Shelf Awareness 'Insightful and touching' Publishers Weekly 'Impressive and Heartwarming' Literary Review
Main Character: Britt-Marie
Setting: Borg, Sweden.
My Opinion: I doubt I would have chosen to read this title had it not been a book club choice, however reading the reviews on the cover I had high expectations. ('Brilliant mix of belly-laughs' Shelf Awareness 'Insightful and touching' Publishers Weekly 'Impressive and Heartwarming' Literary Review). 
What a disappointment it was! Sadly, as I know I am in the minority, I found it a depressing read, although it does have a few humorous moments.  
I understand the obsessive personality of  Britt-Marie is key to the story, however for me she is neither likeable or believable and I was completely unable to empathise with her. Set in what sounded to me like the most dull town in Sweden I also found the football theme excessive. Overall I just think this book is rather peculiar. Therefore I cannot recommend, you will either already be a fan or you will have to decide for yourself by giving his work a try. Personally I doubt I will be reading his other books, without a lot of convincing that I should do so.

Précis Courtesy of Goodreads:

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?

Author Profile

                    Fredrik Backman was born on on June 2nd 1981 in Stockholm, Sweden.
                                More biographical Information can be found  here

Photographs, Trailer and Biographical Information courtesy of the following sites.

Translator - Henning Koch    Goodreads Author Profile     Twitter Page

Amazon Author Page     Author's Official Website     Fredrik Backman - Wikipedia


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