Sceptre Books 2016
Britt-Marie is an acquired taste. It’s not that she’s judgemental, or fussy or difficult – she just expects things to be done in a certain way. A cutlery drawer should be arranged in the right order, for example (forks, knives, then spoons). We’re not animals, are we?
But behind the pedantic, passive-aggressive busybody is a woman with more imagination, bigger dreams and a warmer heart than anyone around her realises.
So when Britt-Marie finds herself unemployed, separated from her husband of twenty years, left to fend for herself in the miserable provincial backwater of Borg – of which the kindest thing one can say is that is has a road going through it – and somehow tasked with running the local children’s football team, she is a little unprepared…
Oh, Britt-Marie, what can I say, the character first introduced in My Grandmother Sends her Regards and Apologies (review here), grows from the interfering, busy body in the aforementioned book to an endearing and wonderful soul trying to make the best of her life. Fair to say I loved this book, from the outset Britt-Marie, alone in the world and determined to find a job has little awareness of how the world works. With unique social skills and a cleaningobsession she likes things ‘just so’ and she is unrelenting when wanting to get something done. A stickler for manners and social etiquette these values serve to shape Britt Marie and endear others to her.
Without going into detail about the story, this book is about a community and friendship, getting to know each other and supporting each other. Like The Scandal ( Beartown) sport plays a central theme – this time football as Backman once again highlights the power of such sports to unite individuals striving for a common goal. For Britt-Marie there are some important life lessons to be learnt and as we follow her journey this tale shapes up to be a wonderful, heartwarming read, with a few tears shed along the way as well.
While My Grandmother Sends her Regards and Apologies didn’t quite meet my expectations this book far exceeded them with Britt Marie holding a place of high regard in my bookish mind alongside the equally marvellous Ove (review here).
Thanks for reading my blog and happy reading to you!