Britt-Marie Was Here
Britt-Marie can’t stand mess. She eats dinner at precisely the right time and starts her day at six in the morning 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.
But at sixty-three, Britt-Marie has had enough. She finally walks out on her loveless forty-year marriage and finds a job in the only place she can: Borg, a small, derelict town devastated by the financial crisis. For the fastidious Britt-Marie, this new world of noisy children, muddy floors, and a roommate who is a rat (literally), is a hard adjustment.
As for the citizens of Borg, with everything that they know crumbling around them, the only thing that they have left to hold onto is something Britt-Marie absolutely loathes: their love of soccer. When the village’s youth team becomes desperate for a coach, they set their sights on her. She’s the least likely candidate, but their need is obvious and there is no one else to do it.
Thus begins a beautiful and unlikely partnership. In her new role as reluctant mentor to these lost young boys and girls, Britt-Marie soon finds herself becoming increasingly vital to the community. And even more surprisingly, she is the object of romantic desire for a friendly and handsome local policeman named Sven. In this world of oddballs and misfits, can Britt-Marie finally find a place where she belongs?
Zany and full-of-heart, Britt-Marie Was Here is a novel about love and second chances, and about the unexpected friendships we make that teach us who we really are and the things we are capable of doing.
BRITT-MARIE WAS HERE by Fredrik Backman
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Reading Group Guide
Britt-Marie is an acquired taste. It’s not that she’s judgmental, or fussy, or difficult—she just expects things to be done a certain way. She has maintained a perfectly organized life in Stockholm, Sweden, with her husband, Kent, for forty years, making sure his shirts are pressed, their apartment is spotless, and that they never run out of baking soda or her favorite brand of window cleaner. But when Britt-Marie discovers that Kent has been unfaithful and her perfectly organized life suddenly becomes perfectly disorganized, she does something bold: she leaves.
Finding herself in the backwater town of Borg, Sweden—of which the kindest thing one can say is that it has a road going through it—as the caretaker of a recreation center slated for demolition, Britt-Marie is soon being challenged, surprised, and coaxed out of her comfort zone in all sorts of ways. As she discovers more about Borg and its oddball residents, she also discovers more about herself. Behind the passive-aggressive, socially awkward, pedantic busybo see more