The novel takes place in a small town in Sweden which is rapidly declining due to a downturn in the economy. Enter Britt-Marie, a middle-aged woman who has left her husband of many years after discovering he was having an affair. She is a persnickety woman with unique mannerisms. She likes everything “just so”. Told in the omniscient voice, we get to know Britt-Marie from the inside-out and her character is flawed and complex. Overly concerned about appearances, Britt-Marie struggles to change the way in which she reacts to others when she takes a position as the manager of a recreation center for three weeks in the remote dying town.
She is a lost soul with obsessive compulsive tendencies trying desperately to reinvent herself amid a group of young adults who love to play and watch football.
There are many interesting characters in this novel. All are well-defined and memorable. There is so much more I could say about the book, but I think it is best to lead you to it rather than to ruin it for anyone. I became emotionally invested in this book to the extent that I felt like I was holding my breath as I read toward the conclusion. It is amazing, and in my opinion, one of the best books I have ever read.