Anxious People by Fredrik Backman 

My friend Stacy sent me this endearing novel.  She’s a realtor in Boise and the story takes place under unique realty related circumstances.  At first glance I thought this was a non-fiction self help book on anxiety, then I thought maybe she found it because of the tie in with her being a realtor.  Neither of those reasons were correct.  Instead, she is in a book club!  The club read this book, she thoroughly enjoyed it (I definitely see why) and decided to share it with me.

The book is about life, love, and connection but also loneliness.  The author touches on joy, fear and communication with both the people you care about and strangers.  It’s a whimsical tale of the lives of nine characters where the plot intertwines and flows beautifully.  A bank robber fleas the scene of a botched robbery and ends up hiding out, and subsequently taking everyone hostage, at an open-house.  It sounds like an aggressive murder-mystery/crime novel yet it’s anything but.

You relate with all the characters.  You laugh with them and feel sad with them, but it’s the good type of sad where it feels good to be feeling.  You’ll see the good and the not as good parts of yourself in them.  The story gave me a chance to reflect on who I am when life gives me a chance to be my best and how at times I could show up as someone better.  The book is a reminder that we’re all trying to get by and when we are vulnerable, open and honest everyone wins.

The author has a refreshing, conversational and light hearted way of writing that makes this a book that’s easy to keep picking up.  As much as I have been enjoying writing, this was another reminder of how good it is to sit down and get lost in a good story and right now, I’m going to keep this short because I want to get back to reading another book I’m glad to be lost in.

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