Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman

After I had finished all the books I brought with me on vacation, my mom lent me Britt-Marie Was Here. I didn’t know what to expect, but I read it, mainly just to have something to read.

It deserves more credit than that. Like A Man Called Ove, Fredrik Backman focuses on the real lives of people for this novel. Brit Marie had left her husband and went searching for a job. But the last job she had was when she was in her teens. And the woman at the unemployment office was not too helpful.

Until she got Britt-Marie a job in Borg, as the caretaker of the recreation center which was about to be shut down, along with the rest of the town. Borg was not a place that Britt-Marie, with her sophisticated ways and obsession with cleaning, would ordinarily have visited. After all, moments after arriving, she was hit in the head with a soccer ball. What a warm welcome!

Britt-Marie comes to realize that there can be a place in your heart other than the familiar life you are used to living. There can be room to love children who have lost everything. There can be room to learn to love soccer, not necessarily for the sport, but for the ability for the players to move on, even after crushing defeat.

Britt-Marie Was Here was a touching novel. I loved the transformation of watching an older lady, seemingly set in her ways, change and help the people around her, despite her lack of worldly experience up until that point in her life. I definitely recommend checking this novel out!

– Leila S., 12th grade

Britt Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It can also be downloaded for free from Overdrive