Saturday, July 16, 2016

Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman

by:  Fredrik Backman
published by:  Atria
publish date:  May 3, 2016

Britt-Marie can’t stand mess. She eats dinner at precisely the right time and starts her day at six in the morning because only lunatics wake up later than that. And she is not passive-aggressive.  It's just that sometimes people interpret her helpful suggestions as criticisms, which is certainly not her intention.

But at sixty-three, Britt-Marie has had enough. She finally walks out on her loveless forty-year marriage and finds a job in the only place she can: Borg, a small, derelict town devastated by the financial crisis. For the fastidious Britt-Marie, this new world of noisy children, muddy floors, and a roommate who is a rat (literally), is a hard adjustment.

As for the citizens of Borg, with everything that they know crumbling around them, the only thing that they have left to hold onto is something Britt-Marie absolutely loathes: their love of soccer. When the village’s youth team becomes desperate for a coach, they set their sights on her. She’s the least likely candidate, but their need is obvious and there is no one else to do it.

This book reminded me a lot of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry.  Older people leaving their family to set out on a new adventure.  Both had the same kind of tone.  So I think if you liked Harold Fry, you'll like Britt-Marie.  

Britt-Marie gets fed up with her family and decides to leave her husband.  She goes to the job office and realizes there isn't much she is qualified for despite the fact that she has successfully run her household for 40 years.  She pesters the woman that works there until she is give a job in the tiny town of Borg.  Her job is to run the recreation department for the children.  She ends up becoming the soccer coach for the kids despite the fact that she HATES soccer.  The town begins to grow again as does Britt Marie.

This was a lovely story.  Britt Marie was a fun character and her dialogue had me cracking up.  Readers of all ages will like this book, I think there's something in it for everyone.

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