Debbie's World of Books
My book reviews, book news & random rants

Benny & Shrimp by Katarina Mazetti

August 8th, 2009 by Debbie's World of Books


Thanks to FSB Associates for the chance to review this book.

I give it a 3 out of 5 stars.

Description: A man and a woman, both of them lonely, meet and fall in love. Both of them crave companionship and family; both are intelligent and good-humored. As Benny and Desirée (a.k.a. Shrimp) are about to discover, all that can stand between them and happiness is—everything.

Benny is a dairy farmer struggling to keep his late parents’ farm alive in a modern world. Desirée is a small-town librarian who has retreated even further into her shell after the death of her young husband. They live in Sweden, and their love story begins surprisingly enough in a cemetery: it is there, visiting their loved ones’ graves that they first spot each other. Their differences are obvious immediately—she’s appalled by the tacky decorations he so carefully arranges around his mother’s grave and he’s turned off by her peaked bookworm looks—but lust and longing drive them into each other’s arms. Just when it looks like love could conquer all, reality rears its ugly head with a vengeance. How can Desirée (whom Benny promptly nicknames “Shrimp”), with her love of high culture, independence, and postmodern theory, be happy in a creaking old farmhouse that’s stuck in the 1950s? And how can a man like Benny, who sings to his cows on Christmas Eve and longs for a buxom woman to come along and help run the farm, reconcile himself to store-bought meatballs and evenings at the opera?

This was a fun read that I read pretty much in one sitting.  It’s written from the view points of both Benny and Desiree, whom Benny nick names Shrimp.  Each chapter alternates view points between the two.  It was amazing and touching to see the whirlwind romance as these polar opposites fell for each other.  I had to read this when I saw Desiree was a librarian as that is what I hope to become some day but in some ways she was totally the stereotypical idea of a librarian which was not always flattering.  Benny also was portrayed as the typical idea of a farmer who wants his wife home, in the kitchen and pregnant.  You know it will be impossible for the two of them to have a future together and yet you can’t stop hoping it works out somehow.   The one thing I found strange (not necessarily bad) was the ending.  It kind of left me scratching my head and I can’t say I was too pleased with either character by that point.  Still this is a book you will probably zoom right through.

Posted in 3 Star Books, Books, General Fiction, Romance

7 Responses

  1. Miss Remmers

    I completely agree with you – but I’m still not quite sure what happened with the ending. I reread it about four times and finally became so frustrated I just gave up. You took it better than I did though – ruined the whole book for me.

  2. Mishel

    I really liked the book. The characters had me laughing with their quirky and charming personalities.

    I agree the ending was a little out there, but it wasn’t a total turn off for me. I think maybe because I found the characters so odd that I didn’t really mind the ending so much. But I understand why some people could have had a problem with it.

    Overall I really enjoyed the book =)

  3. Amy @ My Friend Amy

    Yes, yes I agree about the ending! While I thought the book was sweet, it puzzles me as to why it was such a huge international best-seller.

  4. Kristen Howe

    Sounds like a fair book to read by your review. Lovely blog.

  5. dsuzuki

    Miss Remmers-Yeah, the ending was a total let down and I debated about how to review it since I enjoyed most of the book.
    Mishel-I really liked their quirkiness although it started to get a bit much as it got near the end.
    Amy-I agree, while enjoyable I don’t see what made it such a hit.

  6. Mandy

    Nice detailed review. I’ve seen this book around and was wondering what it was all about.

  7. dsuzuki

    Mandy-it was good but not one I would pick up again.

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