“Anxious People”, By Fredrik Backman

Shutterstock / Don Pablo © For book review

I’m almost ashamed to admit when I recently visited a fabulous bookstore the array of choice was so great it was almost overwhelming.

The tiny shop front belied the Tardis-like interior, every inch claimed by a book of some description. But where do you even begin when faced with wall upon wall of floor to ceiling choice? 

It would be fine if I knew I could take hours to make a considered choice but my lunch date with a friend put a time limit on proceedings. 

Wonderful tale by an expert storyteller

Perhaps this is the reason why you’ll often find tables laid out with a small, hand-picked selection. It’s for people like me who may get sensory overload by the brigades of books on offer. I can be frozen into inaction and leave empty-handed.

However, it was upon one of these tables I caught the name of Fredrik Backman. Having thoroughly enjoyed “A Man Called Ove”, I spotted another by the Swedish author, “Anxious People”. Quite fitting given my own dilemma at that moment!

Book Review: "Anxious People" by Fredrik Backman

Picture by Yvonne McKenzie.

It’s not often I find a book where I would happily read it in one sitting.

However, this one merits giving over a day or two to immerse yourself in a wonderful tale by an expert storyteller. It brings together a group of strangers gathered for a flat viewing who suddenly find themselves held hostage by an unlikely bank robber. 

Magical blend of poignancy and humour

The story unfolds to reveal the characters have more in common than first meets the eye.

The author expertly weaving a thread to bind them all as we gradually discover their backstories. Unlikely bonds form over the course of proceedings, too.

The amusing prose softens dark topics. It’s sensitively written to bring a magical blend of poignancy and humour – a roller-coaster read with plenty of twists and turns that I genuinely didn’t see coming.  

The quirky humour peppered throughout guarantees a heart-warming, surprisingly uplifting and easy read.

t all makes for a real page-turner of a novel. While it’s difficult to pick out favourite characters, if pushed I say I had a soft spot for Jim, the policeman. You’ll see what I mean. 

I know I’ll be seeking out more from this author.

There’s the knowledge that I’ll be in safe hands and I can’t wait to discover the next journey he takes me on. Little wonder then that Fredrik Backman’s books have been translated into 25 different languages and his works adapted into film.

Another plus is that I know what I’ll be looking for when I next visit that bookstore! 

Check out some more book choices selected by the “Friend” team here

Click here to find out more about Fredrik Backman.

Yvonne McKenzie

Yvonne works on the Features team and admits to being nosy, so loves looking after the Between Friends letters and finding out all about our lovely readers. She also looks after our health copy and enjoys writing about inspiring people that help make the articles in the magazine so interesting.