I’ve read three of his novels now. (He also has a novella out and a new book coming out in April.) I’m still convinced his first novel--A Man Called Ove—is his best to date, but overall, I’ve enjoyed all three.
Each of his books focuses on a character on the fringes of society, there sometimes by circumstances, sometimes by choice. But in each case, the main character finds a community or family where he or she fits by the end of the book. And while that can seem sentimental, perhaps, I think in this bleak period in America, a little sweetness and light is welcome.
Britt-Marie, who was also a minor character in My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, is a 63-year-old “nag bag” who likes everything a certain way, and has no filter to keep her from telling people what way that should be. She’s recently separated from her cheating husband and she moves to the small, dying community of Borg to take a temporary job.
She quickly gets pulled into the lives of the children on the soccer team who frequent the recreation center where she works, as well as the lives of their parents and friends. It’s a fast, touching, and wryly funny novel. And of course, there’s soccer!
Reading it only makes me want to go find Backman’s novella now, and pre-order his new novel. I love it when an author I like writes quickly!