Wednesday, March 28, 2018
Fredrik Backman's Britt-Marie Was Here
"You have to understand that when I was small my family and I went to the seaside. My sister always found the highest rocks to jump off into the water, and when she dived and came up to the surface, I was always still there at the top of the rock, and she would call out to me, 'Jump, Britt! Just jump!' You have to understand that when one is just standing there looking, then just for a second one is ready to jump. If one does it, one dares to do it. But if one waits, it'll never happen."
"Did you jump?"
"I'm not the sort who jumps."
I have fallen love with Fredrik Backman over the course of the last year. I devour anything I come across that bears his name. It is his perspective of human nature that draws me in. He possesses deep insight into what motivates and inhibits people. His words paint his characters strengths and weaknesses as though by candlelight--in the gentlest of ways--making them appear lovely even though flawed.
In Brit-Marie Was Here we see the uptight, regimented main character slowly let down her armor so that others can finally come close to her. With each tentative step out of her comfort zone she begins to conquer the fear that has isolated her. In loving others and allowing them to love her Brit-Marie finally dares to jump.