Benny & Shrimp by Katarina Mazetti

>> Saturday, August 29, 2009

Genre: Fiction
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 208
Support Your Local Library Challenge #40

This is a quirky little romance story. It’s a quick read that I thought was enjoyable enough, but I didn’t love it.

Set in Sweden it’s the story of Benny, a 30ish bachelor dairy farmer and Desiree (nicknamed Shrimp) a 30ish widow who works as a librarian. They first meet at a cemetery where Desiree’s husband is buried next to Benny’s parents. Although they have a strong and almost overpowering physical attraction to each other, Benny and Shrimp find that the course of true love definitely does not run smoothly.

Told in alternating chapters by each of the main characters the story often overlaps to show their different perspectives on the same events. While I enjoyed a lot about the book I almost felt like the ending was awkward and almost as if the author struggled to find a way to wrap up the story.

In many ways it’s a very realistic portrayal of the awkwardness of developing a relationship when both parties have already established their individual lives, habits and interests. Benny and Shrimp definitely have very different ways of life – she’s more urban and enjoys reading and the opera. He’s a dairy farmer whose llifestyle has to revolve around the milking schedules and he’d much rather watch a movie like Police Academy.

I thought the struggles they shared in trying to figure out if they really could create a life together was done well with both humor and poignancy. It’s a little bit funny, a little bit sad, a little bit charming and for me a little bit frustrating. I found myself both liking and disliking each of the main characters at different times.

All in all I thought it was a quick and quirky little book, but the ending just left me feeling a bit flat. I think I might have liked it better without the last two chapters.

Rating 3/5


Les 8/30/2009 5:34 AM  

I've been reading this out by the pool, so it's perfect with it's short chapters. However, It's not really pulling me in and I find my mind wandering back to the pool & beach. Maybe I'll put it aside to read on the flight home.

Diane 8/30/2009 5:39 AM  

i liked the first half of this one much more than the second half.

SuziQoregon 9/03/2009 2:36 PM  

Les: I can see where it could be one that you could get easily distracted from. I'll be looking forward to hearing your thoughts when you do get around to finishing it.

Diane: I even liked it up till the last two chapters. I've seen a few other reviews that didn't like the ending, so I feel better about it now.

Les 9/07/2009 7:20 PM  

I'm giving up. Now the struggle to write a review. Just not my cuppa tea.

SuziQoregon 9/08/2009 7:33 PM  

Les: It's an odd book. I can understand your feelings. At least you saved yourself the letdown of the last 2 chapters ;-)

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