As I collect my annual recommended reading list, folks are going to notice author Fredrik Backman is well represented. A Man Called Ove bowled me over early in the year, and a few months later, I devoured Britt-Marie Was Here, the story of a middle-aged woman whose life is upended when she leaves her cheating husband and starts over, a stranger in a new town. Similar to Ove, Britt-Marie is a quirky, extremely well-defined, somewhat rigid, and not completely likable character—and I loved every minute spent with her. Shortly after landing in town, Britt-Marie unwittingly finds herself in charge of the community rec center and inherits with it a rag-tag, losing youth soccer team. No matter that she doesn’t know the first thing about the game.
Opinionated at best and passive-aggressive at worst, Britt-Marie isn’t one to make friends easily or quickly. As the story progresses and Britt-Marie becomes more enmeshed in the goings-on of this backwater town and all its Backmanesque characters, her past is revealed, deepening the story’s emotional core. Things continue to get interesting when the rival soccer team plays dirty and Britt-Marie’s contrite husband shows up on her doorstep.
Author Fredrik Backman’s unique voice, comical characters, and narrative heart make this another book to be enjoyed and shared with friends.