Monday, July 20, 2009

Get Your Read On: Benny & Shrimp by Katarina Mazetti

From FSB Media
Two middle-aged misfits and a love that should not be as complicated as it seems

It started in a cemetery, where they begrudgingly share a bench. "Shrimp," the childless young widow and librarian with a sharp intellect and a home so tidy that her jam jars are in alphabetical order, meets Benny, the gentle, overworked milk farmer who fears becoming the village's Old Bachelor. Both driven by an enormous longing and loudly ticking biological clocks, they can't escape the powerful attraction between them.

But how will she learn to accept that he falls asleep at the opera and has a house full of his mother's cross-stitch? And how could he ever feel at home in her minimalist apartment, bare as a dentist's waiting room?

An international sensation now available for the first time in the United States, this quirky, humorous, completely readable novel breathes new life into the age-old conundrum that is love

This book delighted me in so many ways.

I love that the author let's each character tell their stories from their own perspective. Each narrative flows seamlessly along and switches back and forth with ease.
I love how it begins.

First you have two lonely people meeting in of all places, a cemetery.
They are both in their 30's and set in their ways-and as they size each other up, and began to enumerate the many reasons in their own minds why they don't find each other attractive,(Benny refers to Shrimp as "The beige woman"
and she describes Benny as "funny smelling with three fingers on one hand")
This story is told in such a way that
as the reader, I felt the chemistry that was there before the characters did.

When they finally get together, they are like teenagers with that first powerful, all-consuming "true love", totally immersed with discovering and delighting in every new thing they learn about each other.
Yet as the flush fades from passion, and the differences began to annoy each other, I felt sadness that "love does not conquer all" as I sensed the end coming.

But as Tina Turner once sang
"What's love got to do with it"?
And the surprising ending reminded me of why I can now look back on my own first love with fondness and no regrets.
I found this story sweet, poignant, and funny.
I loved it.
Thank you to Caitlin from FSB Media for this review copy.

Katarina Mazetti was nominated for the Prix Cevennes in France in 2007, and has worked as a journalist, teacher, and author of books for readers of all ages. For twenty years she lived on a small farm in northern Sweden, an experience that became the basis for Benny & Shrimp, her first adult novel.

For more about this novel, including an exerpt and other reviews click HERE.


mandatorybloghere said...

i love these reviews keep them coming

Dixie said...

I need to post more reviews of the books I read-this title was absolutely great.:-)