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Britt-Marie Was Here

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4.06  ·  Rating Details ·  18,799 Ratings  ·  3,173 Reviews
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 mor
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Hardcover, 324 pages
Published May 3rd 2016 by Atria Books (first published October 3rd 2014)
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Phillip Sawyer The two books compliment each other but each can read as a stand alone. Britt Marie is such an interesting character and this book makes one realize…moreThe two books compliment each other but each can read as a stand alone. Britt Marie is such an interesting character and this book makes one realize that everyone's perception of the world is so different. Britt Marie's life is colored by Asperger's or OCD or her upbringing. To others, life is very different. Books like this help us realize how differently we see the same thing. Both books are excellent in their own ways. Don't miss "A Man Called Ove" also.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Paromjit
I am very late to the party for this book and when I saw this in the library, I remembered how so many of my goodreads friends had read and loved this. This is a terrific tale of Britt-Marie who is 63, and who we meet as she tries to get a job because she is afraid no one will notice if she were to die, she keenly feels her isolation and loneliness. It quickly becomes clear that something is wrong from her OCD issues surrounding her manic cleaning and the manner in which she pins down her employ ...more
Melissa ♥ Dog Lover ♥ Martin
This book was freaking amazing! And yeah, it made me cry . . .



 :


I thought his book was wonderfully, sad. I loved Britt-Marie so much. She had these quirks that were in ways sad and in others beautiful. I would love to meet her, God would she give me a mouthful. lol *Possibly one mild spoiler*

She just tells it like it is:

"You have a very modern hairstyle."
"What? Oh. Thanks," she replies, her fingertips moving self-consciously towards her scalp.
"It's very courageous of you to wear your hair so sho
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Elyse
Apr 10, 2016 Elyse rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
"If Kent had been here"......
Throughout this charming-tender-story, *Britt-Marie*, often reflects on her husband, Kent, who she walked out on after 40 years of marriage. She lands a job working as a caretaker at a recreation center, 12 miles away from where she and Kent lived, in a small run-down village. How she got the job is hilarious. Laugh-out-loud funny!
Yet, when Britt-Marie says she misses her balcony, back home, more than anything, it was an early clue to me, that there was some deeper
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Stephanie
Delightful tale of a quirky woman re-discovering life's possibilities....

“One morning you wake up with more life behind you than in front of you, not being able to understand how it’s happened.”

Britt-Marie is a bit OCD and challenged in the social skills department. She's 63 and has just left her husband (who his mistress confirmed was unfaithful as he was hospitalized with a heart attack). She has spent her life deferring her dreams in order to care for others - her husband and his kids and th
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Esil
Jul 10, 2016 Esil rated it liked it
3+ stars. I loved Fredrik Backman's first two books, so I went to some lengths to get a copy of his third book, Britt-Marie Was Here. I begged shamelessly on a couple of sites for advance copies. When that didn't work, I found a copy while on a trip to New York because the book was not yet available in Canada. The problem with high anticipation is that it can sometimes breed disappointment. I liked Britt-Marie Was Here, but I didn't love it the same way I loved its predecessors. Unfortunately, i ...more
Jen
Dec 17, 2016 Jen rated it liked it
My inauguration into the world of Backman.
I wasn't sure about it for the first 50 pages thinking this character is whacked and do I really want to read about a 64 year old woman who is only just finding herself after years of repression? It turned out, yes I do.

Britt-Marie is a hot mess. She's left her husband - which was well overdue- but is lost in a world nonexistent to others. She's never worked outside of the home and she has cleaning OCD. She's really odd - her thoughts; her behaviours.
S
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Maxwell
Apr 16, 2016 Maxwell rated it really liked it
Shelves: i-own-it, translated, 2016
The publisher sent me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts & opinions are my own.

You guys. You GUYS! This was one of the sweetest books I have ever read. After reading Fredrik Backman's first novel A Man Called Ove earlier this year, I was contacted by the publisher to read & review his latest release, Britt-Marie Was Here. Even though I wasn't obsessed with A Man Called Ove, I thought it was incredibly quirky, funny and touching, so I figured I would give
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Margitte
Jul 27, 2016 Margitte rated it it was amazing
Britt-Marie was sort of a married woman. Sort of. If it wasn't for her husband's heart attack while being with his mistress, Britt-Marie might still have been happily locked away in her forty-year-old marriage, where she loved her balcony and her total dedication to her husband. She had no friends, did not go outside her apartment, and never questioned her needy behavior. As long as her husband was completely depended on her mothering skills, she was happy. Life was under control. Sort of.

It wa
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Sue
Jun 03, 2016 Sue rated it really liked it
My regard for soccer is increasing and my thoughts about "dying" or struggling towns is evolving. Thanks to the town of Borg and Britt-Marie. Dying relationships and dying economies come together in this novel of a late middle-aged woman who has left her old life with no real idea of who she is or where she's going -- physically, geographically or emotionally. Backman's book is her journey of self-discovery and her/Borg's discovery of each other.

Britt-Marie has been a wife and homemaker for her
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PattyMacDotComma
Sep 13, 2016 PattyMacDotComma rated it it was amazing
Shelves: chcc-library, fiction
5★
Loved it! Britt-Marie is an unappreciated social misfit, overlooked and living in the shadows of people who are more important, much like the author’s famous Ove from A Man Called Ove. She is as stubbornly awkward and set in her ways as Ove.

She wonders why people look offended or startled when she says things to be sociable.

“It’s very courageous of you to wear your hair so short when you have such a large forehead.”

or

“It was very brave of you, putting that tie on. Because it looks absolute
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Carol
Nov 04, 2016 Carol rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars

"You are not alone if someone needs you."

Backman does it again....creates a one-of-a-kind quirky character, but this one just wants to be loved, needed and remembered.

The laughs begin early on as an honest (to a fault) and forthright 63 year old Britt-Marie enters into a conversation with a girl working in the unemployment office. Desperately in need of a job to improve her self-esteem and need to be useful, Britt-Marie unknowingly proceeds to insult the girl with a so-called complime

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Abby *Hates Dust Jackets*
Aug 02, 2016 Abby *Hates Dust Jackets* rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary, humor
You see, Britt-Marie does not judge people. No, certainly not. That would be uncivilized.

"Britt-Marie would obviously never consider the woman to be "fat," because Britt-Marie is absolutely not the kind of person who pigeonholes people like that, but it does strike her how wonderful it must be for the woman to go through life so untroubled by her cholesterol levels."

Again, you see, it's just a matter of their being a wrong way to do things and a correct way. A clean, hygienic way. Unfortunatel
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Julie
Jan 05, 2017 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brit-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman is a 2016 Atria Books publication.

Believe it or not, this is my first novel by this author! I’ve heard so many wonderful things about his novels and can’t think of a better way to start off 2017 than by finally joining the Fredrik Backman club!

Brit-Marie was Here is just an all around wonderful story! I laughed, got angry, worried, and cried, but closed the book feeling like I’d been on a special journey with Britt-Marie in her quest for purpose, belongin
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Ann Marie
Britt-Marie was an intensely unlikable woman in My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry. Perhaps that's because she was so unhappy herself. I'm so glad I was able to get to know her better in Britt-Marie Was Here. It should be mentioned that, although I highly recommend reading My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry, and you will be even more impressed by Britt-Marie in this book if you do, you won't have any trouble at all reading this as a stand-alone.

Sixty-three year old Bri
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Diane Barnes
Jan 12, 2016 Diane Barnes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Britt-Marie is just a little bit crazy. As all of us are. She has issues, a touch of OCD when it comes to organizing things, like cutlery drawers and stacks of cigarette cartons on store counters. She cleans obsessively, because that's the only way to keep the chaos at bay, to make sure she's on top of things and in control. Britt-Marie has reasons for being this way. As all of us do. And Britt-Marie also has a philandering husband who was stupid enough to have a heart attack in the company of h ...more
Algernon
Jan 04, 2017 Algernon rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017

[7/10]


A Man called Ove was one of the most pleasant surprises I had about a year ago, during the winter holidays. It felt like it was custom-made to 'restore my faith in humanity' as Roger Ebert puts it in some of his movie reviews. A cantankerous old man who only wants to be left alone to die in peace is brought back to a sense of belonging to a small community by a series of oddball neighbours. I decided this Christmas to see if Backman is a one-hit-wonder, or if he can weave his magic for m
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Cheri
Feb 18, 2016 Cheri rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Jeff Giles
Britt-Marie is the sort of person who likes things just so. She can’t abide a disorganized cutlery drawer, being offered “milk” in tiny disposable cartons, plastic mugs, plastic teaspoons. She is, if nothing else, fastidious.

“’Milk and Sugar?’ the girl asks, pouring some coffee into a plastic mug. Britt-Marie doesn’t judge anyone. Far from it. But who would behave like that? A plastic mug! Are we at war?”

Britt-Marie begins this journey as a 63-year old woman who has just moved out of her flat w
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Jessica
I feel like the jerkiest of jerks here, but I was honestly just kind of bored with this one. If you liked Backman's A Man Called Ove, there's a good chance that you will like this one, too. It feels very familiar, with its tale of a stubborn senior citizen won over and softened by the bigger world. In my Ove review, I commented that Backman toed the line of treacly without falling completely in. Maybe he finally fell; I think that reading another book that was so similar thematically was just to ...more
Kasia
May 24, 2016 Kasia rated it really liked it
Britt-Marie was Here. What I expected from this book:
Old OCD Lady blah blah blah, looking for a job, blah blah coming to crappy town, blah blah blah, talking to rats(?) cleaning the shit out of every floor she steps on; coaching soccer in town full of half or full blown orphans; blah blah blah; they win their little tournament and everyone lives happily ever after. (The last part about winning I made up based on every movie I've ever watched where team of losers, worked hard and won because tha
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Fictionophile
Britt-Marie is 63 years old and she has always felt invisible. The only people who ever appreciated her enough to 'see' her were her sister Ingrid (long since dead) and her husband Kent (for a short while after they were first married). She has no friends. She likes to clean and is more than a bit OCD when it comes to having everything in its proper place. Oh... and she LOVES balconies, purple tulips, and crosswords!

Readers first met Britt-Marie in Fredrik Backman's last novel "My Grandmother as
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Susanne Strong
Britt-Marie was Here is the best book I've read this year. Simply put, it is fantastic.

Britt-Marie is difficult, frustrating and socially awkward. She is also insensitive and kind of rude. A minor character in My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry, Britt-Marie was instantly disliked in that book and is not well liked in the beginning of this one either. However, Fredrik Backman has this endearing way of making old curmudgeons likeable and being extremely successful at it (i.e. Ove and
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Ace
May 06, 2016 Ace rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant. Not many books can make me shed actual tears. So real. Review to come.

2-Aug-16
Britt-Marie was in Fredrick Backman’s previous release My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry. That was a brilliant book, but unlike Ove and Britt-Marie, it concentrated on a young (gifted) little girl. The striking thing for me about Britt-Marie (and Ove) is how much I related to the realness of these older characters. I see a lot of myself in them. Not to say I am like them, but so many of their b
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Dorie
Apr 13, 2016 Dorie rated it it was amazing
This novel starred one of the most unique central characters I’ve encountered in a very long time. Britt-Marie is fed up, fed up with her husband not appreciating all that she’s done for him. She raised his children, kept his house and always catered to his every whim without so much as a “thank you for the great dinner”. He couldn’t even be bothered to pick up his dirty shirt from the floor where he threw it every single evening. One evening she smells perfume, puts long hours and other clues t ...more
Yodamom
Sep 28, 2016 Yodamom rated it it was amazing
Audiobook- Fabulous narration
There is one important fact that I knew before I got 30% into this book
Kent is an entrepreneur you see, and he says.....
I really hated Kent, loathed him in every way possible, because you see he is an entrepreneur. I wished him broken bones for smelling like perfume. I wanted his body covered in boils for the voice on the phone.
Britt-Marie was a special friend who needed sheltering from the world she was thrust into so abruptly. In her 60's she was almost child lik
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Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
An intriguing read. I would not call it hilarious, but it was certainly humorous and heart-warming.

'If you merely drive through Borg its easy to notice only the places that have been closed down. You have to slow down to see what's still there. There are people in Borg. There are rats and Zimmer-frames and greenhouses. Wooden fences and white jerseys and lit candles. Newly laid turf and sunny stories.'

This is no doubt true of many small towns around the world, but Borg is the unlikely place wher
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Bianca
In less than a year, Fredrick Backman has become one of my favourite authors. In less than a year, I've read all his novels. I'm so taken with his writing style, but especially with his humanity, which transpires so clearly in each of his novels.

Backman has an uncanny ability to connect different generations. What I like and appreciate the most is that he sees people past their prime.

Britt-Marie Was Here is a good example of Backman's ability to build a story around a sixty-three-year-old wo
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Taryn
A sweet and heartwarming story about a 63-year-old woman who goes through a major life change and reluctantly stumbles into a journey of self-discovery. Britt-Marie is a character from My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry, a book I have not read. The two books are independent stories and don't need to be read in conjunction with each other.

A year turned into several years, and several years turned into all the years. One morning you wake up with more life behind you than in front of
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Betsy Robinson
Apr 10, 2016 Betsy Robinson rated it it was amazing
Britt-Marie is lost—without love or purpose—so she cleans, does crossword puzzles, and loves balconies, baking soda, and a little rat (see the wonderful book cover, designed by Alan Dingman; there is also a charming interior design with chapter line illustrations by Paul Dippolito; the two designers have worked together like one person who is in perfect sync with the style of the book). The reasons for Britt-Marie's obsessions seep through the howlingly funny writing the way floor water might sl ...more
Kaya Dimitrova
Sep 30, 2016 Kaya Dimitrova rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2016
Искрено се забавлявах с „Брит–Мари беше тук” (а и си поплаках, да си призная)! Романът, освен че запознава с изключителната Брит–Мари – вероятно най – откровения персонаж, за когото съм чела, разгръща пред читателите и историите на няколко от жителите на Борг – градчето, в което почти не са останали жители... всъщност, градчето, в което почти нищо не е останало. И така, от смехотворните ситуации, в които попада Брит–Мари в Борг, през рисковете, които поема – тези, които я научават как се живее и ...more
Bam
The character Britt-Marie, last seen in Backman's second book, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry, has left her cheating husband and accepted a short-term job at a recreational center in Borg, a dead-end town pretty much decimated by the recent economic downturn. While coaching the youth soccer team and cleaning, cleaning, cleaning, she meets a cast of remarkable characters, all a little damaged by life as she has been--including a policeman who believes more in justice than the law ...more
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“At a certain age almost all the questions a person asks him or herself are really just about one thing: how should you live your life?” 33 likes
“One morning you wake up with more life behind you than in front of you, not being able to understand how it’s happened.” 31 likes
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