Review pen: Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

Anxious Habits

Book– Anxious People

Author– Fredrik Backman

Previous WorksA Man called Ove, Bear Town, Us against You,


It’s New Year’s Eve and House Tricks estate agents are hosting an open viewing in an up-market apartment when an incompetent bank robber rushes in and politely takes everyone hostage.

For Anna-Lena and Roger, busy buying-up apartments to fill the hole in their marriage, it’s something else to talk about.

For Julia and Ro, panicky parents-to-be, it’s yet another worry.

Lonely bank manager Zara only came here for the view.

While 87-year-old grandmother Estelle seems rather pleased by the company . . .

As the police gather outside, the anxious strangers huddled within try to make the best of a very sticky situation – but could it be that they have a whole lot more in common than meets the eye?


Anxious People by Fredrik Backman revolves around a bank robbery, which is not really a bank robbery, but more of a hostage situation, maybe not even that. It’s the story of an apartment viewing, on a New Year’s eve and the lives of people who came to see that apartment.

This book speaks a lot about anxious people, the way they might think, and the way they are all so different from one another. Anxious People is about unopened letters, unreceived invitations, new beginnings in life, new beginnings to old stories, and new life itself.

Fredrik Backman’s books have always been about people and their minds. The book enlightens on how different people, from different places of success in their lives, can be very same after all. The characters range from newly-weds to successful lady bosses and many others in between. One particular thing that I loved about this book was, this might not be professional help, but it surely is like a soft pat on the back, for people suffering. Most of us really need that, a tiny voice in our head that says everything will be okay.

The characters can seem stupid at times, even one might feel like a rabbit-head (pun intended), but then, that’s the same with humans. We are quite stupid, especially when it concerns people we care about. It is beautiful when such stupidity is demonstrated and celebrated as it does in this book.

This book is also an example of unexpected kindness. It explores the idea of humanity and how we are capable of making great changes. Great changes need not be great after all. They can be small things that make a big difference, even if it’s for one person. It also enlightens the idea that people have good in their hearts, there is warmth in cold, and care in ignorance. The only step to go further is to express the good.

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Each and every life connected to this book has something for us to learn from. It doesn’t need to be a motivating lesson, but it surely is something to look forward to. The book carries a lot in itself, hence it’s entirely upon the reader what they would like to take away. As someone who has learned a lot from books, I would advise the reader to try and read between the lines. Try to get the general idea from the situations, rather than focusing on the situations themselves.

Ratings- 4.5 stars out of 5

This book has nothing about clinical anxiety. It is simply the anxious feeling that people have about the simplest things of life and how life is much more than that. This book reflects on caring about things and taking action.

The book is a lovely read. It was even a bit disappointing for me when I completed this, as I knew that I would not be able to be a part of the lives of its characters anymore. It might even give the reader a hangover, and they might want to take a moment before they start reading another. This is surely another of the wholesome, feel-good books that a reader would end up recommending their fellow readers. I would recommend this to you too.

Reviewed by- Banaja Prakashini

This review has been featured in Twinkl, as part of their To Be Read List 2022: Top Book Picks From Authors and Bloggers article.

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