Britt-Marie was here

Britt-Marie was here by Fredrik Backman (Atria Books, 2014 – translated by Henning Koch)

Not many novels by Swedish writers make it to American libraries, but this one clearly stood out. I saw a review of it in Book Page and decided it was worth a read.  The title character is a socially awkward Swedish woman of late middle age, who has left her husband after discovering his affair.  Since she hasn’t worked outside the home in decades, the only job she can get is a caretaker (janitor) of a recreation center in a small town. She gradually makes friends, and gets talked into coaching a kids’ soccer team though she is completely unfamiliar with soccer. But the kids need a mother figure and she needs someone to need her. This is a fascinating and funny story which you have to experience for yourself.


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