Benny & Shrimp by Katarina Mazetti

31 Mar

“Didn’t I just know it! She looked like somebody who reads books all the time, voluntarily. Long ones, with small print and no pictures. Wretched woman!”

Shrimp is a recently widowed librarian who has a fondness for beige and poetry. Benny is a dairy farmer barely keeping his head above water after the death of his beloved mother. Sharing a bench for months at the cemetery they both frequent they both grow to loathe each other. Then Benny imagines Shrimp in a dominatrix outfit at the same time she looks up at his amazing smile. Cupid strikes quickly and they fall in love. But really, what does a dairy farmer who appreciates the tackier things in life and a refined librarian have in common?

This book charmed my socks off! Each chapter alternates between Benny and Shrimp’s view of their life and the relationship they both share. Both are struggling to come to terms with the death of people they loved but ultimately have trouble grieving. Both are intelligent, quirky and want more from the life they are living. A fascinating character study that reminds us that while people find and come together as friends or lovers, they rarely see the simplest of events the same way. One caveat, the ending is left open and the sequel has not been translated into English. I’m working on my Swedish as I type! 1998, 209 pages.

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Posted by on March 31, 2011 in General Fiction


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