Librarian Reads: October 2021 Book Review and Recommendation
Anxious People by Fredrik Backman
I absolutely fell in love with this story. And, while it has a slow start, it is well worth the journey. Backman has written a poignant comedy of errors, or idiots.
Anxious People reveals how a shared event can change a variety of people’s lives. Multiple interwoven events are uncovered as the story progresses, hooking readers as layers are peeled away.
When a young boy tries to stop a man from jumping from a bridge. When the man who jumped from the bridge leaves a note for another person. When a young girl contemplates what it might mean to jump from a bridge. What are the resulting impacts? Who do these people become and why?
When a bank robber doesn’t rob the bank and instead flees across the street to enter an open house, and takes a group of strangers hostage – these characters become the worst group of hostages in the world, or so says the bank robber. The hostages include a recently retired couple who purchase apartments to live in while fixing them for resale. A wealthy bank director who is shut off from her (and others’) feelings. A young couple about to have their first baby and who can’t agree on anything. An eighty-seven-year-old woman who is fearless. A real estate agent who just wants to close the deal. And, a mystery man who has locked himself in the apartment’s only bathroom.
The two policemen on the scene turn out to be father and son, and can’t seem to communicate with each other. Yet they try their best to discover who the bank robber is, where they disappeared to, and why the hostages are so reluctant to give a straight answer. It’s a convoluted trail that leads to a world of real insight into the human condition.
Originally published in Sweden as Folk med angest, in the end I couldn’t put it down. Full disclosure – a colleague absolutely hated this book. You be the judge.
Tina Hubert, Executive Director Six Mile Regional Library District
Anxious People is available from the Six Mile Regional Library District in hardback, as an e-book, and an e-audiobook. For more information, visit smrld.org or call 618-452-6238 ext. 730.