Reviewed by Katy Zignego (Library Staff)
I don’t speak much (any) Swedish, but I’m pretty sure that “Fredrik Backman” is Swedish for “Mitch Albom.” Backman’s novels are heart-warming, funny, and generally feature elderly people passing on their wisdom to the younger generations. Britt-Marie Was Here is his third novel to be translated into English, after his blockbuster debut (A Man Called Ove) and his almost-as-good sophomore effort (My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry). I actually think I like Britt-Marie Was Here best of the three.
Britt-Marie, as astute readers will recall, is a fussy sixtysomething housewife who features as a minor antagonist in My Grandmother… In this new novel she comes into her own, as a fussy sixtysomething divorcee who is searching desperately for a purpose in life. She finds her purpose in the abandoned rec center in an almost-abandoned town, and the children who play on the town’s abysmal soccer team.
All happy stories tend to end alike, but Backman manages to surprise with a twist ending that is as fitting as it is heart-warming. Mitch would be proud!
Located in Adult Fiction (FIC BACKMAN)