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Britt-Marie Was Here
Cover of Britt-Marie Was Here
Britt-Marie Was Here
A Novel
The New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry, and Anxious People captivates readers with this "warm and satisfying" (People) story "about a woman rediscovering herself after a personal crisis...fans of Backman will find another winner in these pages" (Publishers Weekly).
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?

Funny and moving, sweet and inspiring, Britt-Marie Was Here celebrates the importance of community and connection in a world that can feel isolating.
The New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry, and Anxious People captivates readers with this "warm and satisfying" (People) story "about a woman rediscovering herself after a personal crisis...fans of Backman will find another winner in these pages" (Publishers Weekly).
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?

Funny and moving, sweet and inspiring, Britt-Marie Was Here celebrates the importance of community and connection in a world that can feel isolating.
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Awards-
About the Author-
  • Fredrik Backman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry, Britt-Marie Was Here, Beartown, Us Against You, and Anxious People, as well as two novellas and one work of nonfiction. His books are published in more than forty countries. He lives in Stockholm, Sweden, with his wife and two children. Connect with him on Facebook and Twitter @BackmanLand and on Instagram @Backmansk.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 7, 2016
    The bestselling author of A Man Called Ove returns with this heartwarming story about a woman rediscovering herself after a personal crisis. Sixty-three-year-old Britt-Marie is a gentle, extremely straightforward and believably flawed protagonist who, after walking out on her husband of 40 years, gets a job as the caretaker of the almost-defunct Recreational Center in the fictional European town of Borg. Here she meets several characters including two young children—Vega and Omar, whose off-beat personalities and lifestyles contribute to her growing self-confidence and growth. Backman reveals Britt-Marie’s need for order and her obsession with bicarbonate soda and Faxin—a cleaning agent—with clear, tight descriptions. The true highlight is Backman’s exposition of Britt-Marie’s subtle actions—like the way she rubs her ring finger—and thoughts. These details of Britt-Marie’s character, what her husband cited as her being “socially incompetent,” increasingly endear her to the reader. Insightful and touching, this is a sweet and inspiring story about truth and transformation. Fans of Backman’s will find another winner in these pages.

  • AudioFile Magazine Britt-Marie is 63 years old, set in her ways, and compulsively neat. She's just left her cheating husband to become the caretaker of a recreation center in the dying town of Borg. As Britt-Marie deals with her unexpected new role as soccer coach to the children of Borg, narrator Joan Walker perfectly captures her every emotion and character trait, from her terse manner of speaking to her belief that everything would benefit from a thorough cleaning with bicarbonate of soda. Walker also captures the voice of the secondary characters--from the scrappy young footballers to the quirky adults, who all come together because of Britt-Marie's presence in their lives. Walker's engaged, seamless narration combined with the heartwarming story makes for delightful listening. M.M.G. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine
  • Library Journal

    Starred review from July 1, 2016

    One Monday in January, 63-year-old Britt-Marie enters an unemployment office, having last worked as a waitress in 1978. After decades of fastidious living--perfect cutlery drawers, coasters under every drink, dinner at six, beds disinfected with baking soda--Britt-Marie needs a job. She's left her husband after his recent heart attack--news she received through his mistress. With limited choices, Britt-Marie is now the caretaker of a neglected recreation center in an equally run-down small town. Although not in her job description, she becomes the de facto soccer coach for a motley crew of local kids. Socially awkward though she is, Britt-Marie proves to be just the no-nonsense nurturer the children need; the adults--especially the town's only policeman--realize soon enough that beneath all that compulsive cleaning is a genuine, caring woman who deserves much more than a life merely serving others. Narrator Joan Walker takes on the eclectic cast with inspired energy, enhancing Backman's already delightful narrative with even greater charm. VERDICT Following the international success of Backman's debut, A Man Called Ove, any library growing its collection of feel-good fiction will want to acquire Britt-Marie with alacrity. ["Backman hits a nice note between overly sweet and hard-boiled fiction; excellent for book clubs": LJ Xpress Reviews 5/20/16 starred review of the Atria hc.; the May 2016 top LibraryReads pick.]--Terry Hong, Smithsonian BookDragon, Washington, DC

    Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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Britt-Marie Was Here
A Novel
Fredrik Backman
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