Fredrik Backman – Britt-Marie was here


In Fredrik Backman’s world, his main characters are generally lonely, have some sort of problem, then go through a change, at times it is funny, at times it is distressing. The people who surround the main character a eccentric but in a lovable way and someone dies but for Backman deaths actually have a weirdly feel good factor. In the end all problems are solved everyone lives happily ever after.

Backman’s books are the equivalent of comfort food; now and then you need them. Britt-Marie was here cements that.

Plotwise it is similar to Backman’s previous novel, A Man Called Ove. Loneliness , misfits a loyal animal, the sad moment and the happy moment. To be honest though I did not mind it and I do like the way Backman slowly reveals the predicament Britt-Marie finds herself in. True, A Man Called Ove has more charm but this is far from a bad novel. All I can say is that it’s ok but nothing more.

Fredrik Backman – A Man Called Ove



Did you notice at the amount of negativity in the world? If you read the news it’s stuffed with scandals, wrongdoings, destruction and doom filled prophecies. Go on social network sites like Facebook and Twitter and it seems like a breeding ground for self-righteous haters  , even literature at the moment seems to focus on the negative aspects of society. It looks like optimism has disappeared.

On top of this avalanche of negative vibes, I was going through an awful reading slump. My reading slumps are MASSIVE and I plow through twelve or thirteen books until I find the right one. Thus A Man Called Ove came at the right time. It was a birthday present given to me by my girlfriend and I decided to avoid the jar (I choose my books using a TBR jar) and just start reading the book.

Ove is a grumpy man, who argues with everyone, always angry and a bit of a misanthrope. Throughout the book Backman drops little episodes of Ove’s life until us readers understand all the events that formed Ove’s character. That’s really all I can say because it’s better if the reader goes through the discovery process, rather than me revealing everything.

So what’s the book about? It can be seen how values change every decade or so? or about how one event can change one’s destiny. The book even be about how love creates harmony. Thus this book functions as a self help book without explicitly stating that it is one, kind of like Antoine de Saint- ExupĂ©ry’s The Little Prince.

Undeniably A Man Called Ove is twee. All the characters are well defined, with shortcomings. There are happy endings with just some sad moments thrown in for good measure and sometimes all the characters gather together and help out making each other cheerful despite their eccentricities. The novel is definitely not sappy but it is the kind of book you would find lying on a Sylvanian family’s (personally I think the beavers are the more literate) bedside table. Despite this I REALLY needed a heartwarming book to push away and A Man Called Ove did the job, and it got me out of a reading slump in the process.