Britt-Marie is by far one of the most socially awkward characters I have ever encountered. She is broken to the core, a result of her mother’s harsh words growing up and the current infidelity of her husband. However, she is not one to go out without a fight, no matter how uncomfortable it may be for her or the reader as she tries.
Britt-Marie Was Here immediately grabbed my attention as Fredrik Backman started his novel with a firm opinion on cutlery drawers, but after about three chapters, I found myself stuck. Only 22 pages into the novel, and all I could think was what’s the point of this story?
I didn’t want to quit reading though because I wanted to give it a chance; however, it didn’t come easily. Both Britt-Marie and one of the secondary characters in the novel, Somebody, repeatedly say the same things over and over again throughout their conversations. Britt-Marie’s every other word is “ha” while Somebody constantly says, “what is it” over and over again. It made my skin crawl, and I found myself needing to take a few breaks here and there.
By page 70, I was painfully pushing through this story, so I put my trust in God and prayed this novel would get better because I am NOT a quitter. Luckily, God provided, and it slowly began to improve. Praise Jesus!
Britt-Marie Was Here didn’t turn around enough to where I would make this my number one suggestion, but it has been an enjoyable read since overcoming those first 70 pages. As a character, Britt-Marie truly evolves as she goes from a wallflower to somewhat of a spitfire. She learns the power of friendship and that helping others can look a multitude of ways. She learns to be more fierce, bold, and outspoken. Britt-Marie is the teammate you never knew you needed or wanted!