|Easy Words||Advanced Vocabulary|
|To-go||Sit and Savor|
Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman follows one of his characters, Britt-Marie, shortly after the conclusion of My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry. (It would be nice to read the books in order, but not necessary). And while we learn a bit of Britt-Marie’s backstory in both Grandmother and the beginning of this book, the story focuses on her moving on and healing from the painful dissolving of her long-time marriage. It looks at the life of a woman who is frequently overlooked and underestimated by everyone, including herself, and puts her in a situation where she has no choice but to figure out who she is and whether she can stand on her own.
The book begins when Britt-Marie sets out to find a job, newly alone. The woman at the unemployment office places her at a rec center in a small, small town that has been devastated by the financial crisis. Here, our neat and clean Britt-Marie meets a rag-tag group of misfits that call this depressed town home, including a group of children who see her in the special way that children do and a couple of adults who decide to look past her faults to appreciate her for who she is.
Britt-Marie Was Here is based on the premise of finding meaning in one’s life. According to the book, when we leave the earth one day, it’s important that people know that you were here. This is how Britt-Marie decides if her life has truly mattered. But is it all worth it, to live for someone else, if they don’t appreciate you, notice you? Is it a truly fulfilling life if you don’t do anything for yourself?
The book has all the qualities that I would expect from the man who also wrote A Man Called Ove: humor, goofy situations, a wry way of looking at the world, and an unexpected twist that leaves the reader ugly-crying on their way to work (I listened to the audio version).
Would I Recommend It?
Yes, though my favorite Backman novel was still Grandmother, then Ove. While this book was sweet, I connected with the characters in the other two books a bit more.
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