Book Review: Anxious People

I was charmed by Fredrik Backman’s novel, A Man Called Ove and after a few years it was time to read another of his stories, assuming it would be just as lovely. It was. Unlike Ove, Anxious People is not about peeling back layer after layer of one curmudgeon to discover the warm heart inside; it’s about breaking through a single layer – like the ice on top of a pond – to reveal the unexpected pool of emotions in all of us.

It all starts with a robbery gone very wrong. After attempting to hold up a cashless bank, a bank robber absconds across the street to take sanctuary in an apartment. The apartment was actually in the middle of an open house so we’ve now got ourselves a hostage situation. As two policemen attempt to figure out where, exactly, the bank robber went, we learn a bit more about all the hostages and what brought them to that particular open house the day before New Year’s Eve.

This book covers some dark topics. Thoughts of loneliness, guilt, anxiety, and suicide are constants throughout this novel. AND YET. There’s also compassion, love, connection, and most of all, hope. As told in Backman’s quirky voice, it is a joy to read.

4.5 out of 5 stars

Pair with: Vodka with a twist