“Anxious People,” published in September, was written by international best-selling author Fredrik Backman. The story is about a disparate group of people who attend an event that turns into an unexpected “situation,” causing them to be confined to their location for a period of time.

It begins with the following dedication, which will give an idea of Backman’s writing and sense of humor:

“This book is dedicated to the voices in my head, the most remarkable of my friends.

And to my wife, who lives with us.”

“Anxious People” has been called “a poignant comedy” and “a witty, lighthearted romp.” Interesting, considering the title.

Surprising? Not so much when you consider the writer.

Backman is peerless in his storytelling skill and unique voice. So yes, the title seems a paradox to the descriptions of the book, making it all the more intriguing.

With all that has gone on so far in 2020 – with unprecedented changes to our most basic institutions, daily routines and freedoms, “Anxious People” likely describes many of us right now. As we all know, feeling anxious is a normal reaction to stress and unexpected situations.

The personalities in this book are funny, weird, sad, inspiring, annoying, endearing, determined, wistful and angry … and they are each searching for something. 

This book will delight readers looking for something other than the usual formulaic novel. Backman’s subtle but exquisite humor and insight are provocative.

No anxiety was produced in the reading of this book. It was, in fact, quite entertaining, with a curious unfolding of events and reactions from the characters that I did not expect.

Backman never disappoints.

His books are published in more than 40 countries. Backman lives in Stockholm, Sweden, with his wife and two children. Connect with the author at fredrikbackmanbooks.com.

Glenda Harris is a freelance writer and editor, nature lover and aspiring novelist.