BRITT-MARIE is not the type of woman to put a coffee cup down without using a coaster, not does she eat pizza straight from its box.
Britt-Marie is proper, attentive, precise, correct – “normal”, in other words.
To less particular people, however, Britt-Marie could be described as obsessive-compulsive: a career homemaker who has used the same cleaning product for decades and who must disinfect a hotel-room mattress with bicarbonate of soda before being able to fall asleep.
Suddenly, at the age of 63, Britt-Marie finds herself looking for a job – not because she needs the income, mind you, but because she fears lying dead for weeks before being found because nobody is expecting her.
Britt-Marie has worked her entire adult life; she has helped her husband, Kent, with his business as an entrepreneur. Her role has been important: keeping their home “presentable”. Now, though, the marriage is over courtesy of a long-running affair that Britt-Marie discovered when Kent’s much younger mistress telephoned her after he suffered a heart attack.
At first her chances of finding employment seem bleak but then she is offered a poorly paying position as the caretaker of the recreation centre in Borg, a withering hamlet in which almost everything else has already closed down.
Borg’s singular passion is soccer; residents of all ages are fixated on the game. It’s the only thing standing between the township’s children and a future of delinquency and hopelessness.
Britt-Marie detests soccer, yet little by little she is drawn into the youngsters’ social circle and eventually finds herself nominated as their team’s official coach.
Will this be a bright new beginning for Britt-Marie – a chance to reinvent herself away from critical, emotionally controlling Kent?
Quirky and tender, entertaining and humorous, this novel delivers a thought-provoking yet light-hearted insight into an alternative way of viewing life.