Macomber’s Rose Harbor series comes to a sweet end

$12.99 (USD) Kindle; $14.99 (USD) hardback.
$12.99 (USD) Kindle; $14.99 (USD) hardback.

Sweet Tomorrows by Debbie Macomber; women’s fiction; published by Random House; list price, $12.99 (USD) for Kindle; $14.99 (USD) hardbound edition; and $13.35 (USD) paperback edition; Audible also available.

Debbie Macomber made me rethink women’s fiction, which hadn’t held any particular interest for me until I read my beautiful mom-by-marriage’s copies of the Blossom Street series.  I missed the earlier books in the Rose Harbor series, but I accepted Random House’s offer to read and review the final book in that series, and I’m glad I did.

Sweet Tomorrows is a sweet story, and it stands on its own quite well, as well as each title in the Blossom Street series and, in my opinion, much better than the long-running Cedar Cove series.

The Rose Harbor Inn, a bed-and-breakfast, is the center of this series, along with the heartbroken widow, Jo Marie Rose, who owns it.  Jo Marie has found healing for her hurting spirit here, and so have others who have visited or worked at the inn.  Such a premise could have been sickening at the hands of a lesser writer, but Macomber shows why she’s a perennial best-seller with this series. One of the ways she succeeds is in how she handles healing. She does not limit it to a physical cure, as so many in secular society do, but allows healing to be less – and therefore so much more – than a mere removal of physical ill and become a removal of dis-ease instead.  So much more powerful, and so much more realistic.

The stories are told in first-person, with different sections narrated by different characters.  Some readers dislike this device, but Macomber is skilled in creating distinctive voices for each character and both adept and experienced in employing this technique, whether in the context of one novel or over the course of a series.  I think it works just fine – better than an omniscient narrator or than restricting the storyline to one character’s perspective.

I find one fault with the novel, though many readers will not agree.  Onerose-harbor storyline, a romance between two wounded souls, develops with unrealistic rapidity. This is more common than not in romantic fiction, of course, and I suspect that many readers crave this speed.  My objection stems from observing too many instances of girls and young women expecting real life to match this pace and, as a result, ignoring small but serious red flags in their relationships.

All in all, though, I enjoyed this one and, if Mom hasn’t bought the others in the series, I will be getting them for both of us.

NOTE: Sis received an advanced reading copy from Random House via NetGalley in exchange for a review reflecting her opinions.  She is grateful to the author, the publisher and the service for this opportunity.

Description: The much-anticipated conclusion to Debbie Macomber’s beloved Rose Harbor series, set in the picturesque town of Cedar Cove, Sweet Tomorrows is a vibrant and poignant novel of letting go of fear, following your heart, and embracing the future—come what may. Nine months ago, Mark Taylor abruptly left Cedar Cove on a perilous mission to right a wrong from his past. Though Mark finally confessed his love for her, innkeeper Jo Marie Rose is unsure if he’s ever coming back. The Rose Harbor Inn barely seems the same without Mark, but Jo Marie can’t bear to lose herself in grief once more. Determined to move forward, she begins dating again, and finds companionship when she takes on a boarder who is starting a new chapter herself. Recovering from a twice-broken heart, Emily Gaffney, a young teacher, is staying at the inn while she looks for a home of her own. Having given up on marriage, Emily dreams of adopting children someday. She has her eye on one house in particular—with room for kids. Although Emily’s inquiries about the house are rudely rebuffed, her rocky start with the owner eventually blossoms into a friendship. But when the relationship verges on something more, Emily will have to rethink what she truly wants and the chances she’s willing to take. The inn seems to be working its magic again—Emily opening herself up to love, Jo Marie moving on—until Jo Marie receives shocking news. With Debbie Macomber’s trademark charm and wisdom, Sweet Tomorrows brings to a close the journeys of cherished characters who feel like old friends. Macomber has created an enchanting place in the Rose Harbor Inn that readers will never forget.


Discover Catherine Cookson

MaryJo Dawson, who writes the clean and cozy Sally Nimitz mysteries, brings to MiddleSisterReviews a series of reviews of authors from days gone by — writers who may not be as well known to today’s readers as they should be.  Today, she focuses on Catherine Cookson:

cooksonCatherine Cookson was born in 1906 into a humble household in rural England, where she knew hardship and poverty. By grinding hard work she saved enough money to buy a home and turn it into boarding house to make her own living. She married happily in her early 30s, but after a number of miscarriages, she was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder that meant she could not have children.

In her disappointment and grief, she turned to writing.

And what a talent this woman had! Most of her stories take place in Britain in the mid to late 19th Century, focusing on survival and victories amid grueling poverty, ignorance, and class distinction. Her attention to detail and her ability to weave a good story brought her well-earned success, accolades, and often record sales. Move over Agatha Christie: at one point Cookson held the record for books sought after and checked out in the British library system. Her heyday was from the 1960s to the 1980s, but her books are in reprint and most are available in ebook formats.

whipRecently I’ve re-read one of her later works, The Whip. It is the story of Emma Molinero,  beginning when she is orphaned before she was eight years old, and continuing through the next 24 years of her life. The daughter of a local farmer and a Spanish carnival performer who was a master with knives and whips,  Emma is transported from a life of love and protection at the carnival to the harsh realities of rural life in Tyneside in the mid-19th Century.

The young, kindly, new local parson and a local painter are two of the people who make life bearable for the girl during long days of drudgery and negative – sometimes cruel – attention from those who have no patience or understanding for someone who doesn’t conform. With her intelligence, independent spirit, and unusual good looks, Emma always stands out.

The years will bring bitter disappointments and cruel losses, but sometimes hope and humor. Cookson is a master at showing human nature at its best and its worst. When Emma’s husband’s twin brother losses his mind completely due to jealousy and hate, he is determined to destroy Emma if it’s the last thing he ever does. He almost succeeds.

The Whip is currently $5.99 (USD) on Amazon in the Kindle Store. Many of the original 1983 printed hard copies are available for very reasonable prices (ranging from $2.01 USD and up). The prices for the secondhand print editions vary, by seller and condition. Click to read a sample:  The Whip.

Other Cookson novels available in the same price range include: The Dwelling Place, Our Kate, The Girl, The Mallen Girl, The Invitation, and The Blind Years.

From Amazon’s author page: Catherine Cookson was born in Tyne Dock, the illegitimate daughter of a poverty-stricken woman, Kate, whom she believed to be her older sister. She began work in service but eventually moved south to Hastings, where she met and married Tom Cookson, a local grammar-school master. Although she was originally acclaimed as a regional writer – her novel The Round Tower won the Winifred Holtby Award for the best regional novel of 1968 – her readership quickly spread throughout the world, and her many best-selling novels established her as one of the most popular of contemporary women novelists. After receiving an OBE in 1985, Catherine Cookson was created a Dame of the British Empire in 1993. She was appointed an Honorary Fellow of St Hilda’s College, Oxford, in 1997. For many years she lived near Newcastle upon Tyne. She died shortly before her ninety-second birthday, in June 1998.

Sis thanks MaryJo for her contributions and for bringing another writer to her attention. She hopes that you, too, will enjoy these flashbacks and find some new-to-you writers to read and enjoy.


Saturday Savings 23.07.2016

The Scottie Barked at Midnight

Scottie BarkedThe ninth book in this popular cozy mystery series is on sale at $2.99 (USD), half the $5.99 price. This is a series I’ve only recently started, so I have yet to read this mystery, but the whole series gets an enthusiastic endorsement from one of my reading friends, Stacey, and I think she’s a good judge of a good cozy mystery.

Description:  Spring is just a few weeks away, but winter is still digging its claws into Moosetookalook, Maine. With business at the Scottish Emporium frozen up, Liss MacCrimmon is cautiously optimistic when a twist of fate lands her on a reality competition show—until the contest gets a little too cutthroat . . . While driving on an icy road one night, Liss swerves her car when something darts out in front of it. The Scottish terrier she finds shivering in the snow turns out to be a reality TV star. But when the pooch’s owner is murdered, her daughter asks Liss to take her place on the reality show. Before Liss can tell her she’s barking up the wrong tree, she finds herself ensnarled in the strange world of reality competitions and hot on the trail of a deadly competitor. And just as she starts pawing at the truth, Liss realizes she could be next on the murderer’s list.

DunnettAbout the Author:  Kaitlyn Dunnett first caught the Scottish heritage bug when her husband learned to play the bagpipes. Many Scottish festivals and parades later, and after a brief stint as bass drummer with a bagpipe band, she decided to combine her love of things Scottish with her love of writing. The Liss MacCrimmon mysteries are the result. Kaitlyn lives on a Christmas tree farm in the mountains of western Maine and can be reached through her website at www.kaitlyndunnett.com.

Click the image below to see the entire Liss MacCrimmon series:

Kilt Dead

is scheduled to be released 26 July 2016.

I’d heard of Nicholas Sparks, but I never read any of his best-selling novels until I started borrowing them from my beautiful mom-by-marriage, and, I confess, I enjoy them almost as much as she does.  I found The Rescuea novel published in 2000 on sale today for $1.99 (USD). Most of his ebooks are priced at $7.99 (USD), so this is a significant savings.

RescueDescription: When confronted by raging fires or deadly accidents, volunteer firefighter Taylor McAden feels compelled to take terrifying risks to save lives. But there is one leap of faith Taylor can’t bring himself to make: he can’t fall in love. For all his adult years, Taylor has sought out women who need to be rescued, women he leaves as soon as their crisis is over and the relationship starts to become truly intimate. When a raging storm hits his small Southern town, single mother Denise Holton’s car skids off the road. The young mom is with her four-year-old son Kyle, a boy with severe learning disabilities and for whom she has sacrificed everything. Taylor McAden finds her unconscious and bleeding, but does not find Kyle. When Denise wakes, the chilling truth becomes clear to both of them: Kyle is gone. During the search for Kyle, the connection between Taylor and Denise takes root. Taylor doesn’t know that this rescue will be different from all the others.

roger ackroydI’ve collected Agatha Christies since I was in my teens, and I had at least one copy of every title when I was in my twenties, but one in particular — The Murder of Roger Ackroyd — mysteriously disappeared every time I moved. Now, I have a Kindle edition which cannot go astray. Today, this classic mystery is discounted to $1.99 (USD), and it is one that belongs in the library of every mystery fan if not of every well-rounded reader. This is the book that made Christie, the bestselling mystery writer of all time, a household name. Debates raged over whether Christie played fair. I think she did. Other writers have since copied her clever plot device, but, to my mind, no one has ever equaled this effort. This is one I can read over and over and over again and enjoy each reading as much as I did the first time.

Description:  In the village of King’s Abbot, a widow’s sudden suicide sparks rumors that she murdered her first husband, was being blackmailed, and was carrying on a secret affair with the wealthy Roger Ackroyd. The following evening, Ackroyd is murdered in his locked study — but not before receiving a letter identifying the widow’s blackmailer. King’s Abbot is crawling with suspects, including a nervous butler, Ackroyd’s wayward stepson, and his sister-in-law, Mrs. Cecil Ackroyd, who has taken up residence in the victim’s home. It’s now up to the famous Hercule Poirot, who has retired to King’s Abbot to grow vegetable marrows, to solve the case of who killed Roger Ackroyd.

And, last but by no means least, the bestselling, epic account of one of the most significant battles of the Vietnam War, We Were Soldiers Once . . . and Young by retired Lt. Gen. Harold G. Moore and Joseph Galloway, is on sale at $2.99 (USD) today. Soldiers Once

Description:  In November 1965, some 450 men of the First Battalion, Seventh Cavalry, under the command of Lt. Col. Harold Moore, were dropped into a small clearing in the Ia Drang Valley. They were immediately surrounded by 2,000 North Vietnamese soldiers. Three days later, only two and a half miles away, a sister battalion was brutally slaughtered. Together, these actions at the landing zones X-Ray and Albany constituted one of the most savage and significant battles of the Vietnam War. They were the first major engagements between the US Army and the People’s Army of Vietnam. How these Americans persevered—sacrificing themselves for their comrades and never giving up—creates a vivid portrait of war at its most devastating and inspiring. Lt. Gen. Moore and Joseph L. Galloway—the only journalist on the ground throughout the fighting—interviewed hundreds of men who fought in the battle, including the North Vietnamese commanders. Their poignant account rises above the ordeal it chronicles to depict men facing the ultimate challenge, dealing with it in ways they would have once found unimaginable. It reveals to us, as rarely before, man’s most heroic and horrendous endeavor.

Saturday Savings at MiddleSisterReviews.com

Ken Follett’s Fall of Giants is on sale today

Fall of Giants, the first in Ken Follett’s The Century Trilogy, is one of the Fall of Giantstreasures languishing in my overloaded TBR folder, and, if it isn’t in yours, today is the day to consider adding it — the Kindle edition is on sale for $1.99 (USD), a savings of $8.00!

The historical epic is also available in mass market paperback. All three are available as a set (current price $30.97/USD), while the second and third books, Winter of the World and Edge of Eternity are available at their list prices, $9.99 and $18.99 (USD), respectively.

I’ve been saving the series for a day when I’ve got plenty of time to devote to it, because this series is as lengthy as the earlier Pillars of the Earth series.  But, I’ve always found Follett’s fiction to be worth the investment.

Description:  Ken Follett’s magnificent new historical epic begins, as fiveFollett interrelated families move through the momentous dramas of the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and the struggle for women’s suffrage.

A thirteen-year-old Welsh boy enters a man’s world in the mining pits.…An American law student rejected in love finds a surprising new career in Woodrow Wilson’s White House.… A housekeeper for the aristocratic Fitzherberts takes a fateful step above her station, while Lady Maud Fitzherbert herself crosses deep into forbidden territory when she falls in love with a German spy.…And two orphaned Russian brothers embark on radically different paths when their plan to emigrate to America falls afoul of war, conscription, and revolution.

From the dirt and danger of a coal mine to the glittering chandeliers of a palace, from the corridors of power to the bedrooms of the mighty, Fall of Giants takes us into the inextricably entangled fates of five families—and into a century that we thought we knew, but that now will never seem the same again.…

About the author:  Ken Follett was only twenty-seven when he wrote the award-winning EYE OF THE NEEDLE, which became an international bestseller. His celebrated PILLARS OF THE EARTH was voted into the top 100 of Britain’s best-loved books in the BBC’s the Big Read and the sequel, WORLD WITHOUT END, was published in Autumn 2007. He has since written several equally successful novels including, most recently, WHITEOUT. He is also the author of non-fiction bestseller ON WINGS OF EAGLES. He lives with his family in London and Hertfordshire.

Sis has read, and recommends, all of these.

REMINDER:  Today is the last day to enter for a chance to win the ultimate Lucy Maud Montgomery collection, including the Anne of Green Gables books!  The winner will be selected this evening, after 8 p.m. CDT.

Father’s Day Giveaway . . .

Enter to win a free Lucy Maud Montgomery collection!

AnneThanks to Timeless Reads,  subscribers can enter for a chance to win the ultimate Kindle collection of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s stories this week at MiddleSisterReviews.com!

The publisher is the father of four girls who love the Anne of Green Gables stories, so he created a well-formatted, easy-to-use collection that combines all of the stories in the public domain in a single collection — and the collection is available to readers everywhere. ($1.99/USD at Amazon.com.)

Somehow, I’d never read either Anne of Green Gables nor any of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s timeless stories. I picked up this collection a few years ago, yet it was languishing in my TBR folders until a few weeks ago, when one of my reading friends remarked on her love for these stories. I’m rapidly making up for lost time, squeezing in one story in between other reads, and regretting that I waited so long to get to know Anne, and Montgomery.

All of these stories are available in free public domain editions which were scanned by volunteers but which were not formatted specifically for e-readers, much less for Kindles. These can be hard to read. This collection from Timeless Reads, though, is properly formatted, with all the features that involves, from active tables of content to “go to” links. It also offers links to free audio versions of the stories, and it combines all of the LMM public-domain writings in one set. I like this collection simply because it is easy to read and makes it easy to organize the books in my e-library.

The winner of the free collection will be chosen randomly, by methods that may involve the caprice of a cat or the whims of another four-legged creature.  To enter, you must subscribe* or be subscribed* to MiddleSisterReviews.com and leave a comment on this post.  Share, and boost your odds of winning by receiving an extra entry for each new subscriber you refer to the site. Simply email your friend, and email Sis at Sis@MiddleSisterReviews.com with the address or name of your friend(s) so Sis will know who to credit.

*Subscriptions are free.  Subscribers may cancel anytime.  Sis will not share your email (unless you win) with anyone, ever!  The winner will receive an email from Timeless Reads with instructions on how to claim the collection.

From Timeless Reads:

 This exciting collection has these great features

  • The complete text of eight great books featuring Anne “with an e” Shirley
  • Three additional novels from Lucy Maud Montgomery
  • One complete book of poetry by Montgomery, “The Watchman and Other Poems”
  • 142 wonderful short stories written by Montgomery
  • Links to download the unabridged audiobooks of all 11 novels for FREE!
  • The ability to easily jump to any book using the Kindle “go to” feature
  • An individual, active table of contents for each book so you can go to any chapter
  • Clean formatting, giving you full control over fonts and font sizes
  • Did I mention an unbeatable price?

All titles in this Anne of Green Gables collection, along with their publication date, are listed below.

  • Anne of Green Gables (1908)
  • Anne of Avonlea (1909)
  • Anne of the Island (1915)
  • Anne’s House of Dreams (1917)
  • Rainbow Valley (1919)
  • Rilla of Ingleside (1921)
  • Chronicles of Avonlea (1912)
  • Further Chronicles of Avonlea (1920)
  • The Story Girl (1911)
  • The Golden Road (Sequel to The Story Girl, 1913)
  • Kilmeny of the Orchard (1910)
  • The Watchman and Other Poems (1916)
  • The Short Story Collection (1896-1922)

Unfortunately, there are two books in the Anne of Green Gables series which were published later and can’t yet be included in this Kindle collection because of copyright restrictions. These are Anne of Windy Poplars (1936) and Anne of Ingleside (1939).

Thanks for checking out my Anne Stories collection. I hope you and your family enjoy these books as much as we have!

Note from Sis:  I think this collection offers so much for so little! I deleted the free public domain editions because this is easier to read, easier to use, and easier to catelogue in my collections.  I’m grateful to Timeless Reads for helping me promote my site by offering this giveaway. If you don’t win, I hope you will consider adding this to your collection anyway.

See other offerings from Timeless Reads:


Saturday savings . . .

A 99-cent classic from Mary Roberts Rinehart

 

StaircaseMary Roberts Rinehart created the “Had I But Known” sub-genre in detective fiction with her classic The Circular Staircase, and it is one of my favorite classic mysteries.

I’d heard of Rinehart for decades, of course, but her mysteries weren’t sitting on shelves in the brick-and-mortar stores — nor on the shelves at the local libraries which place a premium on newly published — so ebooks gave me my first chance to read Rinehart, and  The Circular Staircase was my first. I loved it — I laughed, I savored the now-classic elements, and I wanted to read more. A lot more. I hope you do, too.

You can, of course, find free public domain editions, but this particular edition, sold by HarperCollins, is professionally (and properly) formatted. I think it’s well worth $0.99 (USD) if your budget permits.

Description:  When Rachel takes a country house for the summer with her niece and nephew, she expects to fill her days with relaxing social activities. But these plans take a turn for the sinister when, on the second night, a dead body is found at the bottom of the house’s circular staircase.

Mary Roberts Rinehart (August 12, 1876 – September 22, 1958) was an American writer, often called the American Agatha Christie, although her first mystery novel was published 14 years before Christie’s first novel in 1922. Rinehart is credited with creating the phrase “The butler did it” with her novel The Door (1930), although the exact phrase isn’t used in the novel. She also created a costumed super-criminal called “the Bat”, cited by Bob Kane as one of the inspirations for his “Batman”.

FREE bonus book:  She by H. Rider Haggard

H. Rider Haggard’s classic tale of fantasy and adventure set in a lost world ruled by a two-thousand-year-old queen
FREE when posted -- verify before purchase, please!
FREE when posted — verify before purchase, please!

Description:  On the occasion of his twenty-fifth birthday, Leo Vincey opens the locked iron box that is his birthright and finds an ancient potsherd. Following clues engraved on the relic, Vincey and the man who raised him, Cambridge professor Horace Holly, embark on a remarkable adventure that will take them from Victorian England to an uncharted region in East Africa. Surviving shipwreck, disease and hostile natives, they discover a lost civilization no European has ever encountered—or lived to describe. They have entered the realm of the cruel and beautiful Ayesha, known to those who worship her as “She-who-must-be-obeyed.” For two thousand years, the white queen has been waiting—for what, Vincey and Holly are about to find out.

One of the bestselling novels of all time, She has held readers in its thrall for more than a century. Alongside Haggard’s other classic, King Solomon’s Mines, it established the conventions of the lost world fantasy genre, and has inspired some of the greatest thinkers and writers, including Sigmund Freud, J.R.R. Tolkien, Margaret Atwood and even popular mystery writer Elizabeth Peters, who decided to create her best-selling Amelia Peabody series because nobody was still writing novels like this — and she had read all that had been written earlier.

She, A History of Adventure, was originally published in The Graphic magazine in serial form between October 1886 and January 1887 and has never been out of print, with more than 96 million copies sold in 44 different languages to date.

Also available free (when posted, please verify before purchase), is this illustrated edition:

 

Britt-Marie IS Here

Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman (Atria Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster); released 3 May 2016; list price:  $26.00 (USD) hardbound edition, $12.99 Kindle edition — and worth the price.
by Fredrik Backman/Atria Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. List $26.00 (USD)
by Fredrik Backman/Atria Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. List $26.00 (USD)

Britt-Marie was here, and here will never be the same.

Britt-Marie won’t.  I won’t.  Nor will anyone who takes the time to make her acquaintance, to open their hearts and minds to Britt-Marie and all she can show them about life, about love, about those around them, even about their own selves.

Britt-Marie is, on the surface, an intensely irritating woman with an inflexible approach to everyone and everything . . . but anyone with any sense knows not to judge a book by its cover. It would be a mistake to judge Britt-Marie – who is not the sort to judge others – by first impressions.

It is, in fact, in those first impressions that Backman first shows us how much more there is to Britt-Marie.  Because others do not respond quite as one expects to Britt-Marie, a 63-year-old woman who is painfully proper.  Her days start at 6 a.m. because only lunatics wake up later.  She serves supper promptly at 6 p.m., because civilized people have their dinner at six.  After 40 years of marriage to an unfaithful husband, she has had enough.  She presents herself at the unemployment office, seeking a job because she wants someone to know she’s here.

But, after four decades of raising her husband’s children and seeing that their home is presentable, she doesn’t exactly have the skills employers want.  Especially not in a financial crisis.  Her husband, Kent, knows that the financial crisis is over.  He’s an entrepreneur, so he understands these kind of things, even if the girl at the unemployment office doesn’t nor the people of Borg, where Britt-Marie finds a temporary job.

Borg has nothing much, except a road that runs in two directions, kids who play soccer and a pizzeria.  Or so one might think.  But, page after page, paragraph after paragraph, Backman strips away the camouflage covering both Britt-Marie and Borg.  And a remarkable thing happens because Britt-Marie and Borg are actually much bigger inside than out.

Who and what you see inside may tell you more about yourself than about Britt-Marie or Borg, just as which soccer club you support will tell the people of Borg, and Britt-Marie, about you.  Soccer is important, you see, because soccer doesn’t ask to be loved.  And if you support a club that always promises to win but never does, you give more love than you get back.  Britt-Marie doesn’t know much about soccer, at least not before she comes to Borg, but she may know quite a lot about loving without getting much back.  About hoping, and going on loving, despite disappointments and promises that are never kept.  If you support a club that always wins, you expect to win and you may start believing that you deserve to win.  Britt-Marie knows better.  Passion for one particular club, though, sometimes gets in the way of love for soccer itself.  And perhaps that is something Britt-Marie didn’t know . . . until Borg.

Britt-Marie Was Here (click to read a sample) may be the best book I’ll read this year.  It has, in less than 24 hours, had a more profound impact on me than perhaps any wholly secular book I’ve ever read.  I seldom highlight passages, yet I read it with my highlighter in hand because there were so many sentences I want to retain and to remember.  It begs to be read by book clubs, because it begs to be discussed with other readers, to learn what they see in Britt-Marie and in Borg and what they see in themselves.

The only readers who may not like it are those who adamantly decline to read books with four-letter words.  Britt-Marie would understand – she knows quite well that there are certainly a good number of alternatives to four-letter words.  So do I.  I also acknowledge that Backman employs them not merely because they are in character with the characters who speak them but because they are essential to revealing Britt-Marie’s character.  She overlooks them.  I did.  Perhaps you shall, too?

From the publisher:  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, from the bestselling author of A Man Called Ove and My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry.

Britt-Marie can’t stand mess. She eats dinner at precisely the right time and starts her day at six in the morning because only lunatics wake up later than that. And she is not passive-aggressive. Not in the least. It’s just that sometimes people interpret her helpful suggestions as criticisms, which is certainly not her intention.

But at 63, Britt-Marie has had enough. She finally walks out on her loveless 40-year marriage and finds a job in the only place she can: Borg, a small, derelict village devastated by the financial crisis. For the fastidious Britt-Marie, this new world of noisy children, muddy floors, and a roommate who is a rat (literally), is a hard adjustment. As for the citizens of Borg, with everything that they know crumbling around them, the only thing that they have left to hold onto is something Britt-Marie absolutely loathes: their love of soccer. When the village’s youth team becomes desperate for a coach, they set their sights on her. She’s the least likely candidate, but their need is obvious and there is no one else to do it.

Thus begins a beautiful and unlikely partnership. In her new role as reluctant mentor to these lost young boys and girls, Britt-Marie soon finds herself becoming increasingly vital to the community. And even more surprisingly, she is the object of romantic desire for a friendly and handsome local policeman named Sven. In this world of oddballs and misfits, can Britt-Marie finally find a place where she belongs?

Zany and full-of-heart, Britt-Marie Was Here is a novel about love and second chances, and about the unexpected friendships we make that teach us who we really are and the things we are capable of doing.

Note:  Sis received an advanced reading copy compliments of Atria Books and Simon & Schuster, via NetGalley, in exchange for an independent and honest review.  Britt-Marie would expect nothing less.

May 2016 selection Library Reads selection
Visit the author’s website Fredrik Backman for information on appearances in the U.S. this month.