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Anxious People by Fredrik Backman: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Synopsis of Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

If you’ve wondered if Anxious People is a book about idiots, you can stop wondering. The author only tells us about 52 times that indeed, it is. Multiple stories are woven in this tale about an ordinary open house that quickly becomes a hostage situation when a bank robbery across the street goes wrong. Maybe things wouldn’t have gotten so messy if the hostages would have just cooperated, but when you’re dealing with colorful characters, things don’t often go as planned.

We learn about Anna-Lena and Roger, a newly retired couple looking for a fixer-upper as a project to hide years worth of guilt and resentment; Zara, whose infatuation with suicide stems from being suffocated with guilt for something she couldn’t stop ten years earlier, Julia and Ro who are about expecting their first child and both fear not being able to measure up, Estelle, who should really be everyone’s grandmother, a no-nonsense real estate agent, and a man dressed as a rabbit. Seriously, you need to read that chapter to believe it.

On top of this, the case has been assigned to a father-son police duo who are trying to make up for past losses, mistakes, and grief that overwhelms them for very different reasons.

Will they all manage to get out of each other’s, and their own way, in order to come to some sort of peaceful resolution?

My Thoughts

I’ve been a Fredrik Backman fan ever since I read My Grandmother Asked me to Tell You She’s Sorry. I still get teary eyed thinking about that story, and was excited to see Anxious People as a pick in my Book of the Month Club selection.

But to be honest, I hated this book from page one. Seriously. I even went as far as to poll Instagram to see if it was worth continuing, or if I should call it quits before chapter 3. Instagram was no help. It was a 50/50 split down the middle, so, like any true reader, I kept on turning those pages.

Long story short: I’m glad that I did.

While this definitely wasn’t as moving as MGAMTOYSS (see above), I instantly found myself rooting for just about every character in this book, for different reasons. Backman has a way of uncovering the parts of humanity that often get brushed aside. He’s able to weave so many different stories together that you can’t help but fall in love with even the most unlikely bunch. His storytelling is truly an art, and I could appreciate how he flipped the expected outcome in this novel and gave it a more modern spin. #Girlpower.

If you can be patient and read through a bunch of annoying fluff (sorry, but it’s true), and allow yourself time to get to the heart of this story, then it’s truly a good read. But.. it takes a handful of chapters to do just that. If you’ve read this book I’m curious to know your thoughts on it!



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