Britt-Marie was here / Fredrik Backman ; translated from the Swedish by Henning Koch.
Publication year: 2016
Publisher: London : Sceptre,
ISBN: 9781473617209 (hbk.) :
For as long as anyone can remember, Britt-Marie has been 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 passive-aggressive, socially awkward, absurdly pedantic busybody is a woman who has more imagination, bigger dreams and a warmer heart than anyone around her realizes. So when Britt-Marie finds herself unemployed, separated from her husband of 20 years, left to fend for herself in the miserable provincial backwater that is Borg - of which the kindest thing one can say is that it has a road going through it - and somehow tasked with running the local football team, she is a little unprepared. But she will learn that life may have more to offer her that she's ever realised.
298 pages ; 23 cm
This rather whimsical tale of 63yr of Britt-Marie will not have universal appeal. The author uses a pared back approach to his story & the use of language is minimal. He relates Britt-Marie's life from an unhappy childhood, a marriage in which she is subservient to Kent & his children, through to her break for freedom & subsequent arrival in Borg. The lack of descriptive prose helps to underscore the run-down town. Somehow, over just 3 weeks, Britt-Marie makes several lives better (including her own) & an indelible imprint on Borg - interesting!
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