Maira's Books

In January of 2005 I started this blog as a record of books I’ve read as I was afraid I would forget what I have read. I have often referred back to my own blog to remember a book's contents or see what I have read by an author. I have enjoyed passing my books on to friends or recommending books to read. I know I have missed recording some, but in general I try to keep up with what I have read or listened to.

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Location: Kalamazoo, MI, United States

I am a librarian at Waldo Library at Western Michigan University.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backham (2016)

Another heart-warming book by Backman. I no longer know the diagnoses of his characters, and I have to be patient in the beginning as his main characters' personalities and stories emerge. We see Britt-Marie in the unemployment office looking for a job, though she has not worked outside the home for decades. Rubbing the finger where a ring once sat explains why. Surprisingly she gets sent to Borg to take care of their rec center, which the town has forgotten to close. The town is dying with only a pizza joint/corner store/post office still operating. Britt-Marie's one skill and obsession is cleaning and organizing, so she sets off doing just that. In the process she encounters a band of kids who like to play football (soccer), a couple of older women who drink too much, the local policeman who has taken every crafts course available and more town folk. Of course she ends up helping out the kids, the town and finding herself - in the most unusual ways. Though this is set in Denmark, it could be any town that has run into hard times. There are so many wonderful details, like the unemployment worker, who at times is driven crazy by Britt-Marie's calls, but who also find hope in these encounters. I always feel so good about humanity after Backman's books.

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