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Anxious People

Anxious People

I really wish Fredrik Backman would stop making me cry.  If you haven’t read and cried over A Man Called Ove and Beartown, pick those up too along with a box of Kleenex. Backman is so good at getting to the common core of humanity in people who would seemingly never get along, so the tears are the happy-ending, heart-swelling kind.  And when you aren’t crying, you’ll be laughing, because he has such a dry, detached narrating style.  The situation here is an apartment viewing that has attracted a group of 8 potential buyers, but also a bumbling bank robber on the run, who reluctantly and ineptly takes them all hostage.  The story unfolds as an investigation of the incident, so each person has his/her say – but they are all hiding something. And they all have a backstory of baggage (who doesn’t?!) that slowly gets revealed throughout the book’s action as they sort of develop Stockholm Syndrome (although being Sweden, that has another meaning too). This book topped a lot of Best of 2020 lists, so don’t let too much of 2021 get away before you indulge. - Carrie

Instant #1 New York Times Bestseller

A People Book of the Week, Book of the Month Club selection, and Best of Fall in Good Housekeeping, PopSugar, The Washington Post, New York Post, Shondaland, CNN, and more!

"[A] quirky, big-hearted novel...Wry, wise, and often laugh-out-loud funny, it's a wholly original story that delivers pure pleasure." --People

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove comes a charming, poignant novel about a crime that never took place, a would-be bank robber who disappears into thin air, and eight extremely anxious strangers who find they have more in common than they ever imagined.

Looking at real estate isn't usually a life-or-death situation, but an apartment open house becomes just that when a failed bank robber bursts in and takes a group of strangers hostage. The captives include a recently retired couple who relentlessly hunt down fixer-uppers to avoid the painful truth that they can't fix their own marriage. There's a wealthy bank director who has been too busy to care about anyone else and a young couple who are about to have their first child but can't seem to agree on anything, from where they want to live to how they met in the first place. Add to the mix an eighty-seven-year-old woman who has lived long enough not to be afraid of someone waving a gun in her face, a flustered but still-ready-to-make-a-deal real estate agent, and a mystery man who has locked himself in the apartment's only bathroom, and you've got the worst group of hostages in the world.

Each of them carries a lifetime of grievances, hurts, secrets, and passions that are ready to boil over. None of them is entirely who they appear to be. And all of them--the bank robber included--desperately crave some sort of rescue. As the authorities and the media surround the premises these reluctant allies will reveal surprising truths about themselves and set in motion a chain of events so unexpected that even they can hardly explain what happens next.

Rich with Fredrik Backman's "pitch-perfect dialogue and an unparalleled understanding of human nature" (Shelf Awareness), Anxious People is an ingeniously constructed story about the enduring power of friendship, forgiveness, and hope--the things that save us, even in the most anxious times.

Publication Date: 
September 8, 2020