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Britt-Marie Was Here

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  56,236 Ratings  ·  7,744 Reviews
Britt-Marie can’t stand mess. A disorganized cutlery drawer ranks high on her list of unforgivable sins. She is not one to judge others—no matter how ill-mannered, unkempt, or morally suspect they might be. It’s just that sometimes people interpret her helpful suggestions as criticisms, which is certainly not her intention. But hidden inside the socially awkward, fussy bus ...more
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)
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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/Wolf 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
Elyse Walters
Apr 10, 2016 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
Jun 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"There’s a lot you can’t know about a person until you become one with her. What her capabilities are. The courage she has."

I first met Britt-Marie in Backman’s novel My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry. She wasn’t exactly loveable in that book, so I was prepared to meet yet another grumpy and somewhat eccentric character in this one. Well, she was just as I imagined she would be! While I thought perhaps I wasn’t going to be inclined to read an entire book about her royal crankypants
Jul 10, 2016 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
Jun 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Those of you who have read My Grandmother Told Me to Tell You She's Sorry, will remember Britt-Marie. For those of you who have not yet read it, I advise reading it first. That book gives you the background of Britt-Marie while she was still married.

This book starts off with her looking for a job. She hasn't worked in years. She's been a devoted wife, giving over her entire life to Kent. But Kent hasn't appreciated her brand of obsessive loyalty and has had an affair and she has left him. Britt
Christina - Traveling Sister
Jul 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dpl
4, no I'm not ugly crying and laughing at the same time, I swear I'm not crazy stars.

This is my first Backman novel (I know, I'm behind the times) and to be honest, I was unsure how I was going to feel about this for the first couple of chapters. I actually genuinely liked Britt-Marie right off the bat but I wasn't in a particular mood for something depressing and it felt like that might be the direction this was going to take. I'm very happy to say, I was very wrong in this case.

This is about
da AL
Jan 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Backman is expert at making me fall in love with his characters -- annoying on the outside, utterly charming on the inside. His better-known book, "A Man Called Ove," has more straightforwardly good and bad characters that are easier to like and dislike, then ending a crowd pleaser. Here he takes on the monumental challenge of nuance -- characters which are both good and bad, endings that are not pat -- & he does admirably.
Apr 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016, i-own-it, translated
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
Dec 17, 2016 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.
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
Dec 30, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dull
Described on the blurb as a " Brilliant mix of belly-laughs, Insightful and touching I was really looking forward to my 4th Novel my Fredrick Blackman having recently read and loved Beartown but unfortunatly Britt-Marie was a real let down as on completion I found it neither witty or touching and am afraid this book was quite twee and dull in my opinion.

I didnt connect with Britt-Marie as a fussy passive aggressive busybody and while I know other readers might connect or empathize with her I ju
Jul 27, 2016 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
Jun 03, 2016 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
Feb 18, 2016 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
Aug 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
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
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.”


“It was very brave of you, putting that tie on. Because it looks absolute
Jan 05, 2017 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
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
Nov 04, 2016 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

Helene Jeppesen
Sep 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Being a bit sceptical to begin with, I ended up loving this book!
The thing that had me sceptical was the protagonist, Britt-Marie, who is quite a character! She lives according to rules, traditions and norms, and she constantly worries about what other people think of her. This makes her quite a rude and quirky character that I wasn't sure I was up for reading a whole book about. However, I stuck with it and quickly found myself loving her and her quirkiness - how did that happen?
The things th
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
Jun 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 5000-books
Another book by Fredrik Backman which I find I cannot rate as highly as most people are doing. Perhaps he is just not the author for me. There was a lot to enjoy in this book, but there were also things which I felt did not work.

My biggest disappointment was with Britt-Marie herself. It was as though the author gave her characteristics, dialogue and a back story designed to provide pathos, humour and quirkiness but forgot to meld them into the one person. She was a conglomerate of separate parts
Ann Marie (Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine)
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
May 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely, one of the most charming novels I've read. Fredrik Backman has a wonderful way of finding beauty in the most ordinary places. Both literally and figuratively. Britt-Marie is a character that I will definitely remember for a long time. 4 stars.
Diane Barnes
Jan 12, 2016 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
Jan 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017


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
Aug 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Author Fredrik Backman is in my TOP 5 writers of all time. I've read 4 of his books now, and they always have a profound impact on me. I'm hoping to finish reading them all this year which is why Britt-Marie Was Here made it to my September TBR. If you're familiar with his work, it's a combination of 'A Man Called Ove' and 'Beartown' in terms of the love of sport, the human condition's intensity, and the desire for a different life. All in all, I gave it 4.25 stars as it was better than a 4 but ...more
Cathrine ☯️
3 ⚽ ⚽ ⚽

Britt-Marie loves baking soda and Fredrik Backman loves her name because not only is it in the title but it appears several times on just about every page. In point of fact our author is quite fond of repeats:
“If it’s no bother to you. I obviously don't want to cause you any bother, she adds in a bothered tone of voice. It's no bother at all says the policeman who seems free of any kind of bothered tendencies.”
This of course bothered me quite often so I picked up another book at 40
Natalie Richards
May 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned-book
My second Fredrik Backman book and I know I will read anything he brings out. Initially his books come across as quite light hearted reading but as you read more about the various characters, and become more invested in them, they become so much more. His stories are heart warming and funny, a great combination.
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Fredrik Backman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove (soon to be a major motion picture starring Tom Hanks), My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, Britt-Marie Was Here, Beartown, Us Against You, as well as two novellas, And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer and The Deal of a Lifetime. His books are published in more than forty countries. He liv ...more
“One morning you wake up with more life behind you than in front of you, not being able to understand how it’s happened.” 87 likes
“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?” 72 likes
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