I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Benny & Shrimp by Katarina Mazetti
Published by Short Books on 2013-11-20
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Why is it so impossible to get a relationship to work between two mature single people, driven by an enormous longing and loudly ticking biological clocks? Especially when they are struck by a totally unexpected passion when they first meet… In alternate chapters, Benny and “Shrimp” tell the story of a love that started by mistake in a village cemetery, a love that should not really be as complicated as it seems. She is a childless young widow with a sharp intellect and a home so tidy that even her jam jars are in alphabetical order. He is a gentle, overworked milk farmer, a reluctant loner, who fears becoming the village’s Old Bachelor. The attraction between them is powerful. But how will she learn to accept that he falls asleep at the opera and has a house full of his mother’s embroidered wall hangings, and how could he ever feel at home in her minimalist apartment, bare as a dentist’s waiting room? In Benny and Shrimp, Katarina Mazetti brilliantly captures the intensity of an unexpected love affair, and the heartbreaking inevitability with which life tends to get in the way.
I read Benny & Shrimp by Katarina Mazetti in two quick sittings. I really enjoyed Benny & Shrimp. It’s a quirky story of love between a farmer (Benny) and a librarian (Shrimp). I liked that this didn’t read like a cheesy romance novel, bodices did not rip, chests did not heave.
Benny & Shrimp showcased a messy kind of love where mitigating factors such as different life styles got in the way. I thought that felt real, as people aren’t perfect and in real life people don’t give up everything for love. I also liked that this novel showed how much of a process love is. Again, people don’t just snap their fingers, and boom, love. No, you get to know the person, there has to be chemistry, and THEN love happens.
I liked how Shrimp didn’t want to give up her life in order to fit with Benny’s expectations of a perfect relationship (woman, barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen). Somehow that appeals to my inner feminist, as I wouldn’t give up my career just to fulfill some man’s ideal.
I think this was definitely a worthy read. I actually really really want the sequel to hurry up and be translated so I know what happens. While reading this book, I would suggest you drink a bottle of Swedish Hill wine: Jackass Red. It’s got a delicious unique flavor, goes down smooth and easy.