**I received a copy of Britt-Marie Was Here from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**
Summary by Goodreads:
From the bestselling author of A Man Called Ove and My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, a heartwarming and hilarious story of a reluctant outsider who transforms a tiny village and a woman who finds love and second chances in the unlikeliest of places.
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.
I was a huge fan of Backman’s book, A Man Called Ove, and the Goodreads summary intrigued me. While I didn’t love this novel as much as I enjoyed Ove, I started to root for Britt-Marie as the story developed. In the beginning, I struggled to connect with Britt-Marie because her actions and behaviors were odd which left me confused. As I delved further into the plot, I began to see her beyond her quirkiness and instead enjoyed the relationships that she was building with Somebody, the children (Omar and Vega), Sami, and Banks. As Britt-Marie gained confidence in herself, she brought the town together without even realizing what she was doing. This is more than a story of love and friendships. The story shows the impact we can have on others through simple acts of kindness.