At first, Fredrik Backman’s book, Anxious People, struck me as nice but not wonderful.
It almost seemed a little too wacky. A little too twee, with the exasperated cops, the man in a silly costume, the crazy realtor.
One delightful aspect is all of the “gotcha” moments. I won’t spoil any, but it seems that everyone and everything has a surprising connective tissue.
However, I found myself getting impatient and had to take a short break from this book. My cynical self was getting fed up with all of the cuteness. Some of the scenes played like a sitcom or one of those Garry Marshall movies like Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day. A huge mishmash of characters cutely go through their cute lives with snappy dialogue wacky encounters played for big laughs, but ultimately seem unrealistically saccharin.
Remember I told you I’m cynical? Yeah, case in point.
But I returned to it because the book was still enjoyable, and I’m so glad I did. There are some profound moments thrown into the wackiness, and I began noticing that the book is more a meditation on parenthood. On grief. On the invisible threads that connect us.
“We’re looking for something to cling on to, something to fight for, something to look forward to. We’re doing all we can to teach our children how to swim. We have all of this in common, yet most of us remain strangers, we never know what we do to each other, how your life is affected by mine.”Fredrik Backman, Anxious People
So, of course, my cynical, Grinchy heart grew three times its size by the end. I even squeezed out a lone sentimental tear. Anxious People is a lovely book by what is turning out to be a much-favored author.
Also check out my review of Fredrik Backman’s Beartown, a book that I love and has a completely different vibe.
Not a sponsored post, but as an Amazon affiliate, I could get a few pennies if you click on the shopping links. Happy reading!