Britt-Marie Was Here

Britt-Marie Was Here

Book - 2016
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Britt-Marie is a socially awkward, fussy busybody who is used to being organized. When she walks out on her cheating husband and gets a job as caretaker of the dilapidated recreation center in Borg, she is woefully unprepared for the changes. But as she takes on the task of leading the supremely untalented children's soccer team to victory, she just might find a place she belongs.
Publisher: London :, Sceptre,, 2016.
ISBN: 9781473617209
Characteristics: 298 pages
298 pages
298 pages
Additional Contributors: Koch, Henning 1962-


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DBRL_DanaS Dec 13, 2018

Pros: Fans of A Man Called Ove or of Backman's other novels are likely to find this book a charming read. The book is a quick read and the story is warm and light.

Cons: Many characters in this one are underdeveloped and one-dimensional, and the town of Borg feels like a caricature of quirky small-town life.

Dec 04, 2018

One of the best books I read this year. Fredrik Backman is a phenomenal story teller. While some characters and references to "My Grandma Asked Me.." carry over, this is a stand alone novel that challenges you to see the best in people.

Oct 16, 2018

I love books with prickly women! Marilla Cuthbert from "Anne of Green Gables", Minerva McGonagall from the "Harry Potter" series, and Olive Kitteridge.

Jul 03, 2018

I loved this take of a modern Cinderella story that Fredrik Backman created. Britt-Marie, who is obsessive compulsive about cleaning with baking soda, is found in a foreign town with very unsavory people and finds herself changing the way she thinks. It's a very funny read if you need a break from reality filled with crude and sarcastic humor.

ArapahoeTiegan Jan 18, 2018

While I am glad Backman explored Britt-Marie a little further beyond My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry, I found this story a little difficult to get through, and ultimately a bit disappointing. I was rooting for Britt-Marie - at the end of My Grandmother Asked Me.. she leaves her cheating husband and sets out to find her own life and figure out who she really is, as she lost herself in living her life for her husband for so many years. She ends up in a tiny town and slowly becomes one of the accepted residents - she has quite an effect on some people, and they all have an effect on her. I found it unrealistic that her husband just shows up after seeing their relationship dynamic in My Grandmother Asked Me... Everything sort of went downhill from there in the story. While it did sort of end on a high note for Britt-Marie, which I was afraid would not happen, it felt kind of like a write-off ending with how quickly it wrapped up and it was pretty unsatisfying. But the rest of the story and the connections Britt-Marie made almost make it worth it.

Oct 27, 2017

A very light read, but kind of fun at the same time, and I liked that the ending wasn't tied up in a complete little good-news knot at the end. It's a good one to read if you're out of really interesting stuff and need something to while away a few hours.

Sep 28, 2017

A heart warming story. Britt-Marie's marriage is over & she finds a job & a new place to live in a small town that is in the process of dying. In this town she meets all sorts of quirky, endearing people, she gets involved with a soccer competition & starts learning about what she wants for herself.
Fredrik Backman has a funny, warm style of writing that keeps me invested all the way.

Sep 09, 2017

Not as engaging as a Man Called Ove, but am glad that I persisted through the disjointed and somewhat lagging first third.

Aug 03, 2017

Read my grandmother sends her regards and her apologies, since Britt-Marie is introduced there first. I liked this book, yes, it's not as strong as A Man Called Ove, but it is funny and quirky nevertheless.

Jul 20, 2017

Hated this book to start with Britt-Marie's self-awareness increases, it becomes more and more compelling. Ultimately many themes evolved, and it lead to a great book club discussion.

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Apr 13, 2017

“One morning you wake up with more life behind you than in front of you, not being able to understand how it’s happened.”

Apr 13, 2017

“At a certain age almost all the questions a person asks him or herself are really just about one thing: how should you live your life?”

Jun 01, 2016

"Sometimes it's easier to go on living, not even knowing who you are, when at least you know precisely where you are while you go on not knowing."


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SPL_Robyn Nov 02, 2016

Have you ever wondered how much influence the mere presence of a person can have in a town? Or if a solitary, eccentricity-ridden woman of a certain age could ever change her story more than half-way through her life?
These are not questions Britt-Marie has ever asked herself, and she certainly would never describe herself as eccentric in any way – what would people think? She is preoccupied by how others might perceive her, yes. She has total faith in baking soda and Faxin to clean just about anything, and is a compulsive list-maker, yes. And cutlery drawers must be arranged in precisely the correct way, yes.
She also had complete trust in and reliance on her husband Kent for forty years. Now that she is alone, Britt-Marie has one quest: to make sure she does not die forgotten. And although her life story – of her mother, her sister, her husband and step-children – is revealed as slowly as air escaping a leaking tire, it is when Britt-Marie finds herself in a dying town called Borg that she really begins to live. It may seem like a meager life, being a caretaker in an old recreation centre, but the reticent residents of Borg and taciturn Britt-Marie are kindred spirits in an odd way, and where kinship blooms, so does hope. Oh, and football, too.
Backman uses football (soccer) as a metaphor for optimism the way Leafs fans would use hockey. But it is his depiction of Britt-Marie that is most admirable, and his readers are gently pulled from irritation with his unlikely heroine into a warm understanding of this woman who has no real understanding of herself. Britt-Marie lives inside her own head with her own peculiar motivations driving her, but Backman almost surreptitiously reveals how the town begins to open up to her, and how – most astonishing to her – Britt-Marie finds herself reciprocating their support.
For fans of Scandinavian literature akin to Jonas Jonasson’s The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, or for fans of soccer, Fredrik Backman does not disappoint. Both quirky and tender and - Britt-Marie gets her wish – not easily forgotten.

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