Britt-Marie Was Here: A Novel (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews


Britt-Marie, like Backman’s earlier character in A Man Called Ove, cannot stand untidiness, believes there is a right way and a wrong way to do things and by God, she is going to do things the right way.  This causes ones outlook to be a mite rigid.  Britt-Marie has been a home maker for many years, serving her husband’s every whim. Now she finds herself alone, needing employment, and worrying about dying with no one to notice.  While her husband loved soccer, Britt-Marie had not the slightest interest in sports of any kind.  Thus it is strange when she finds herself employed as caretaker of a community recreation building in small hamlet in the back of beyond where she is commandeered to be the couch for a youth soccer team.  Britt-Marie’s first impressions of her fellow denizens in the rough around the edges environment are not favorable.  However she comes to see below the surface, in those around her and in herself, and her world expands.  This is a lovely book!  It asks the big questions.  What if you spend your youth doing what you thought was most important only to find in maturity that you served a false ideal?  Can you find happiness and fulfillment in the remains of your days?  Can you step out of your comfort zone and make choices that are personally enriching? Lots of fun reading!  And it stimulates thought!

— Deon Stonehouse

May 2016 Indie Next List


“Backman's incomparable novels celebrate and revolve around unlikely protagonists: a curmudgeonly widower in A Man Called Ove; a girl on the autism spectrum in My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry; and now Britt-Marie, an order-obsessed, cleanliness-loving woman of a certain age. Having left her two-timing husband, Britt-Marie takes a job in the small, depressed town of Borg, and magic begins to happen. Britt-Marie Was Here is another warmhearted delight!”
— Carol Schneck Varner, Schuler Books & Music, Okemos, MI

Description


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 begins her day at 6 a.m., because only lunatics wake up later than that. And she is not passive-aggressive. Not in the least. It's just that sometimes people interpret her helpful suggestions as criticisms, which is certainly not her intention. She is not one to judge others—no matter how ill-mannered, unkempt, or morally suspect they might be.

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 is more than a little unprepared. Employed as the caretaker of a soon-to-be demolished recreation center, the fastidious Britt-Marie has to cope with muddy floors, unruly children, and a (literal) rat for a roommate. She finds herself being drawn into the daily doings of her fellow citizens, an odd assortment of miscreants, drunkards, layabouts—and a handsome local policeman whose romantic attentions to Britt-Marie are as unmistakable as they are unwanted. 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 big-hearted misfits, can Britt-Marie find a place where she truly belongs?

Funny and moving, observant and humane, Britt-Marie Was Here celebrates the unexpected friendships that change us forever, and the power of even the gentlest of spirits to make the world a better place.

About the Author


Fredrik Backman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called OveMy Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s SorryBritt-Marie Was HereBeartownUs 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.

Praise For…


"Warm and satisfying."
— People Magazine

“Backman has written another bestseller with his latest novel. While at first Britt-Marie seems intolerable and aggravating, readers are quickly endeared to her obsessive-compulsive ways and frank honesty. At first the writing style comes off sharp; however, readers quickly see that is how Britt-Marie processes the world and it too becomes something amicable. Heartfelt and truly stirring, Britt-Marie Was Here resonates long after the last page is read.”
— RT Magazine

"Universal...Backman hits a nice note between overly sweet and hard-boiled fiction; excellent for book clubs."
— Library Journal (starred review)

“The bestselling author of A MAN CALLED OVE returns with this heartwarming story about a woman rediscovering herself after personal crisis. Backman reveals Britt-Marie’s need for order….with clear, tight descriptions. 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.”
— Publishers Weekly

"Britt-Marie’s metamorphosis from cocoon to butterfly seems all the more remarkable for the utterly discouraging environment in which it takes place."
— Booklist

“A brilliant mix of belly-laughs, profound insight and captivating events delivered… with Backman's pitch-perfect dialogue and an unparalleled understanding of human nature."
— Shelf Awareness

BRITT-MARIE WAS HERE [is] the story of a curmudgeon you can’t help but grow to love… The story is by turns hilarious and heartbreaking, and you’ll find yourself cheering for Britt-Marie.”
— Salisbury Post

PRAISE FOR A MAN CALLED OVE

“A charming debut…You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll feel new sympathy for the curmudgeons in your life. You’ll also want to move to Scandinavia, where everything’s cuter.”
— People

“Even the most serious reader of fiction needs light relief, and for that afternoon when all you want is charm, this is the perfect book."
— San Francisco Chronicle

"A light hearted, deeply moving novel about a grumpy but loveable curmudgeon who finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door. This quirky debut is a thoughtful and charming exploration of the impact one life has on countless others—and an absolute delight."
— CBS Local

"An inspiring affirmation of love for life and acceptance of people for their essence and individual quirks. A Man Called Ove is a perfect selection for book clubs. It's well written and replete with universal concerns. It lacks violence and profanity, is life-affirming and relationship-driven. The book is bittersweet, tender, often wickedly humorous and almost certain to elicit tears. I contentedly wept my way through a box of tissues when I first read the novel and again when I savored it for a second time.”
— BookBrowse.com

"A Man Called Ove is exquisite. The lyrical language is the confetti thrown liberally throughout this celebration-of-life story, adding sparkle and color to an already spectacular party. Backman's characters feel so authentic that readers will likely find analogues living in their own neighborhoods."
— Shelf Awareness (starred review)

"Readers seeking feel-good tales with a message will rave about the rantings of this solitary old man with a singular outlook. If there was an award for 'Most Charming Book of the Year,' this first novel by a Swedish blogger-turned-overnight-sensation would win hands down."
— Booklist, Starred Review

“A funny crowd-pleaser that serves up laughs to accompany a thoughtful reflection on loss and love… The author writes with winning charm.”
— Publishers Weekly, starred review

“This charming debut novel by Backman should find a ready audience with English-language readers… hysterically funny… wry descriptions, excellent pacing… In the contest of Most Winning Combination, it would be hard to beat grumpy Ove and his hidden,generous heart.”
— Kirkus Reviews

PRAISE FOR MY GRANDMOTHER ASKED ME TO TELL YOU SHE'S SORRY

“[…] Believable and fanciful. Backman’s smooth storytelling infuses his characters with charm and wit. . . Engaging. . . A delightful story.”
— St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“Every bit as churlish but lovable as Backman’s cantankerous protagonist in his debut, A Man Called Ove (2014), precocious Elsa will easily work her way into the hearts of readers who like characters with spunk to spare. A delectable homage to the power of stories to comfort and heal, Backman’s tender tale of the touching relationship between a grandmother and granddaughter is a tribute to the everlasting bonds of deep family ties.
— Booklist (starred)

“Firmly in league with Roald Dahl and Neil Gaiman. A touching, sometimes funny, often wise portrait of grief.”


— Kirkus Reviews
Product Details
ISBN: 9781501142536
ISBN-10: 1501142534
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: May 3rd, 2016
Pages: 336
Language: English