Independence is the best match for a woman’s life. As the ” List of Life” we are going to read today tells us, this book is another exciting and wonderful work by buckman.
As a post – 80s writer, buckman’s writing target is never the same age or young people, but the old or children – he once said that he only writes about the middle-aged and old over 55 years old or children under 10 years old.
” Because they are the people who do not care about the established laws of society.”
The book ” List of Life” tells the story of Britt – Marie, 63, who has never left her home before, leaving her home for the first time to find her own life after being betrayed by fate.
The novel, with tears in its laughter and humorous style, is regarded as a masterpiece of healing.
If life had been in no way back, what would you do?
Old Lady Britt’s past lives
Britt – Mary was clever and sensible since childhood, but her mother preferred smart and beautiful ingrid.
Fortunately, Mary has a very good relationship with her sister.
That day, my mother drove them out because ingrid refused to fasten his seat belt. The mother and daughter had a quarrel and crashed into a green pickup truck coming from the side.
Mother and Mary were saved, but ingrid died.
The death of her sister made her mother more and more bitter. Mary took care of her, but she told others on the phone that Mary could do nothing. Mary worked as a waitress in order to support her family, but her mother said she was ” gnawing at the old”.
Mary endured all this while hoping to gain her mother’s approval through obedience.
The neighbor’s two sons, Alf and Kent, both like Mary. Mary thinks her mother will like Alf better. So she chose to go out with Alf and refused to wait for her Kent with flowers.
Not long ago, Alf went abroad to serve in the army for several months. Mary was looking forward to welcoming him back, only to find out that he had seduced a lot of girls in his residence.
The heartbroken Mary cried all night in the kitchen, but her mother blamed her for crying so loudly that it was nobody else’s business to choose a man.
There is no alternative but to endure.
The day after her mother’s death, she went downstairs to throw rubbish and ran into Kent, who had just divorced his first wife and was returning home to visit her parents.
Kent smiled at Mary and the sun seemed to shine into her life again.
They are in love. Kent often tells her ” it doesn’t matter, it will get better”, comforts her and encourages her. Mary’s life has taken another turn for the better.
After their marriage, Kent became obsessed with his career. Mary took care of his family and took care of Kent’s two children from his ex – wife.
They have big houses, good living and social status.
She loved Kent deeply and even worshipped him, ironed his shirts, entertained his business partners, took every word of him as a golden rule, firmly believed that Kent’s success was his success, and never worried about his life.
Her life is too sure. Her daily schedule is a list of things to do and things to buy. As long as she completes the list, she can live safely and comfortably, so her list is extremely important.
Decades passed quickly. Before she knew it, she had become an appendage of Kent. She had no social life of her own and no friends. Kent even stopped taking her to social occasions because she was unsuitable.
He is becoming more and more strict with her. He disdains many things she cares about – and Kent must be right. He is a successful entrepreneur.
Britt – Mary thinks she can endure it for a lifetime. She is very good at it.
She smelled perfume on Kent’s shirt, but pretended not to know the existence of the woman until Kent had a heart attack and Mary got a call from a young woman –
Now, she must admit that there is still ” that woman” in the world and Kent’s love for herself in the past few years has frozen. She is determined to run away from her life.
At the age of 63, Britt – Marie entered the employment agency and planned to leave Kent.
When I first came to Borg, it was very thrilling.
In these years of living with Kent, Britt – Marie has lived the most stable and orderly life, just like the life advertised by her favorite detergent ” Fickson”: safe, neat, efficient and simple.
Her life is like making a list, completing one thing at each stage and seeing it clearly and clearly at a glance.
Unfortunately, there is no way to follow the list now, the rhythm has been disrupted.
Britt – Marie took care of the housework and went to the employment agency every day to find a job. Eventually, the employment agency girl finally found her a temporary job – to a small town community called Borg to run an entertainment center that was about to be abandoned, and town councilors would vote to abandon it in three weeks.
Britt – Marie tidied up the house and left without even telling Kent.
She drove to Borg with her luggage and started a new journey in fear and trembling –
This used to be a prosperous place with a large truck company. However, the economic crisis has turned this place into a deserted place. More and more people have left Borg after losing their jobs and are looking for opportunities in big cities. Those who remain are either the old, the weak, the sick or those who cannot leave.
The business here is very depressed, only one pizza shop is still barely maintained, and it also serves as a medical center, post office, restaurant, cafe and other functions.
Mary has just arrived in Borg, which is not a good match.
On the day of her arrival, there was an incredible small explosion in the car. Then she got off the bus and was hit by a football and collapsed to the ground.
When she woke up in a room, a group of people gathered around her to discuss whether she was dead or not. Then she met Borg’s friends, the wife of the pizza parlor’s wheelchair owner and the girl Vica.
They are easy-going and kind, but Mary is not used to it. She has not had a social life for a long time. There were only Kent and a list in her life. She likes meticulous social etiquette and does not like to be close without reason.
The recreation center has been deserted for a long time, with mouse footprints on the ashes of the floor. This is an ” emergency” in Britt – Marie’s life. She cleaned all the corners with baking soda to make herself forget her troubles and immerse herself in cleaning.
The entertainment center is full of photos of people and football. This always reminds her of Kent who likes watching football matches. She doesn’t know how he is now, so she cleans harder.
The girl from the Labor and Employment Center recommended Mary to stay in a nearby hotel, but she didn’t like to sleep in a bed paved by others. Even staying in an entertainment center cleaned by herself is better than going to a hotel.
Her ideal has always been to live a fixed life. She never likes traveling or staying in hotels.
If it weren’t for necessity, she could have stayed with Kent until her death. She could have dinner at 6 o’clock every day and lead a civilized life – but now, there is no way, everything has changed.
She tried hard to insist on having dinner at six o’clock, but she was accompanied by a mouse, and she gave it a Snickers every day.
Borg’s people obviously always exceed Mary’s expectations. They like to come uninvited and do not abide by social rules.
For example, the woman in a wheelchair at the pizza parlor always comes to talk to her and asks if she needs this or that. The little girl named Vica and her younger brother olma do not regard themselves as outsiders either. They even bring a group of children ( they call themselves Borg Football Team ) to the entertainment center to watch the ball.
Mary certainly wouldn’t allow these dirty little guys to dirty the entertainment center she just cleaned up, but seeing that they stubbornly wanted to watch the ball together and pray for the support of the team to win, she relented and accepted them.
She did not expect that this was another door she had opened to her life.
There was also a pudgy and chubby policeman standing among the children. His name was Sven and he was the only local policeman in Borg.
In addition to maintaining order, his greatest hobby is to study in various skill classes in the town. When he met Mary for the first time, he presented a can of blueberry jam made by himself, thanking her for accepting herself and the children to watch the ball.
In this match, the team supported by the children won. Amid the cheers, Mary felt for the first time that she was also involved – when Kent watched the ball before, she had never had anything to do with her.
Mary has not felt very important for many years.
Sven is a warm and thick person. In addition to maintaining law and order, he is also willing to help others. After the match, he found a shelter for Mary and personally delivered her.
The landlord is the daughter of the team coach in the photos of the entertainment center. everyone calls her ” bank”. she is a grumpy woman with visual impairment. she plans to sell her house and leave Borg.
However, the economic situation was not good, and no one came to buy a house, so she rented Mary a room for a short time and sold it when someone offered.
Mary slowly integrated into Borg’s life.
Mary and the wheelchair-bound woman in the pizza parlor became mutual care partners, helping the woman to run the pizza parlor and clean up on the second day of her hangover.
Because of her beautiful hairstyle, the little boy named ” Pirates” in the team asked her to help him to have his hair cut. She also did so, letting him go on a date with a beautiful hairstyle.
The children of the team asked Mary to coach them. They had been ” leaderless” since the last coach died suddenly. There will be a football cup in the town in a while. If they want to sign up for the competition, they must find a coach for themselves.
Of course, Mary refused. she can’t play football. she doesn’t even watch the ball. let her be the coach? Joke!
But I still can’t stand everyone’s hard work. The main reason is that Borg no longer has an idle person to be a coach. What’s more, Mary is a warm-hearted person at first sight. She will certainly be willing to help the children –
In such a muddleheaded way, she not only became the coach of the team for no apparent reason, but also was invited to Vica’s house for dinner and met their brother Sammy, who was about 20 years old. After his mother died and his father ran away, he took care of Vica and Omar.
He told Mary that it was not so difficult to train the team. Just name them. If anyone was lazy or made mistakes, they would be punished for running frogs. The rest would be for them to train themselves.
Later, the ” bank” also joined the ranks of coaches. Her father was originally a team coach and was a fanatical player when he was a child, but because of his eyes and his bad relationship with his father, he became cynical.
Now, the team’s children and Mary’s enthusiasm infected her, and she decided to do something.
Mary’s life in Borg became rich and busy: she had to take care of the entertainment center, occasionally help with the pizza shop, train the team, and at the request of the ” pirates”, secretly took him to prison to visit his father, telling him that his good performance in school was praised by the teacher …
She has become a member of this community, and she is also a member who has ignited the vitality of this community.
This is what Mary did not expect. She never expected to have her own life one day.
She used to listen to her parents, then Kent, but now many people need her. She even finally got up the courage to accept Sven’s invitation and promised to go out for dinner with him.
When the appointment time came, the doorbell rang. Mary opened the door and found her husband Kent standing at the door.
He held the bouquet in his hand and told Mary how regretful and painful she was. He said that he and the woman were all over. He loved Mary. The family was all messed up without her. He came to pick her up …
Mary didn’t let Kent in. She still needs time to think about it.
That night, dinner with Sven fell through, and she stayed up all night, watching the packed luggage and having a long ideological struggle, whether to go home or stay.
She and the first ” friend” she met when she first arrived at Borg –
The mouse who always came to eat the Snickers opened her heart: she was Kent’s wife, and when it was time to go back to him, there was a stable life and everything she liked.
But if she goes back, she will become Britt – Marie who stands behind Kent and is not worth mentioning.
At dawn, she decided to give herself more time.
She now finally has a life without Kent, and she doesn’t want to lose it easily.
From then on, Kent drove to visit her from the city almost every day. After he met Sven, who had a good opinion of Mary, he felt threatened and took good care of Mary.
Borg’s people all know that Mary’s husband is driving a luxury car to pick her up and go home. Vica and Omar are angry and angry, while others hold the attitude of ” probably only this way”. Borg cannot keep people.
If it hadn’t happened, the result would have been the same.
What she wants to do all her life
It was a very common day when Mary was helping in a pizza shop when suddenly a young man with a hooded head burst in and pointed a pistol at the cashier and robbed!
The wheelchair-bound woman and the two diners covered their faces with fright. Only Mary, who was very disciplined in everything, said no ( robbery was not on her list ).
While she was dealing with the robbers, Vica and Omar came in. They found out that the robber was a friend of his brother Sammy’s ” madman” and he had a problem with his mind.
The ” madman” pointed at everyone with a gun trembling and fired a random shot in panic. At this critical juncture, Mary rushed in front of Vica and Omar to protect them regardless.
Fortunately, the shot hit the ceiling. Mary was not hurt except when she fell to the ground.
In the panic, the madman took the road and fled, and all escaped a bullet.
The incident has changed the attitude of many Borg people towards her – Vica and Omar regard her as the most intimate person, diners who are always indifferent to her become friendly, and old ladies who are always indifferent to her in the street also begin to greet her.
Vica’s brother Sammy is full of gratitude and trust to Mary, telling her the most secret things in her family –
The father of the three brothers and sisters was a drunkard and always beat his mother after drinking. until one time, Sammy’s friend ” madman” was so excited that he thrust a knife into Sammy’s father’s throat and drove him out of the house.
My mother worked as a truck driver to support three children, but then there was a car accident and she died instantly. After that, Sammy, the elder brother, took care of his younger brother and sister as a parent and lived alone.
Sammy explained that the madman had borrowed money from some people before, and had recently been very tight in debt collection. That’s why he took the risk to rob the pizza shop, and he didn’t want to hurt anyone.
Sammy told Mary that if she had something to do one day, she hoped Mary could help take care of Vica and her younger brother.
Mary didn’t tell the police in the town who came to investigate that the ” madman” was the robber. Sven probably knew, but he didn’t say it either. He just admired Mary more.
In Mary’s ” list” centered life, she has never encountered so many accidents in one day. She began to gradually adapt to Borg’s life rhythm.
When Britt – Marie no longer had Kent and her family in her life, everything changed. She had friends of her own, became a team coach, and had several children to take care of.
Therefore, she is no longer in a hurry to return to her former life – oh, she is no longer the Mary who only walks around Kent.
The team’s participation in the town’s football match is a great event. Everyone runs to watch the ball. This is a long-lost vitality.
Kent also specially came to support her. In the past she was always Kent’s companion, but this time it was the other way round. Sven also came, of course. He and Kent always hated each other and would fight each other when they got the chance.
The whole community went to cheer on Vica and them. Although they lost the match by 1: 14 in the end, everyone was not satisfied. They thought the match would definitely make Borg different from before.
After the match, Vica, who had swollen half her face, also made Mary wonder why she had never been crazy about anything. She was fascinated by Paris. After her sister died, she never thought she could go to Paris alone.
The excitement did not last long before another sad thing happened in Borg – Sammy appeared when the madman was beaten by a group of debt collectors. Sammy was killed in order to protect the ” madman” who had once protected himself, leaving Vica and Omar in grief.
Mary and Sven helped them arrange the funeral and contacted social workers. Borg’s kind people did not have the heart to send them to social welfare institutions, so they planned to raise them with the strength of the whole community.
Mary made ” Building a Football Center for Borg” the first item on her list. She applied to the town council every day and got help from Kent and others.
In the end, the once silent town and the children who had nowhere to go were finally allowed to own a football field based on an entertainment center.
After that, Mary resigned and left Borg. She did not return to Kent, nor did she accept gentle courtship. Even, she did not have the next destination on her list – Vica and her friends pooled their money and bought petrol back and forth to Paris according to mileage. Plastic buckets filled both sides of the road. So Britt – Marie set off.
She didn’t know what she would meet next and which door to knock on. Anyway, she had enough gas, and she began to be herself.
There is nothing to be afraid of in life, as long as you dare to start over.
It is hard to imagine that an old lady in her sixties will one day give up her warm home, her successful husband and her knowledge of life beyond measure, give up all this and pursue a new life empty – handed? !
This is Britt – Marie.
Mary, like all of us, is full of fantasies about love and marriage. She used to be content with a comfortable life and didn’t want to change. She doesn’t even have enough social and work experience as many people do.
But even so, she has demonstrated to many people that as long as you are willing to be yourself, then you have a chance.
Is it not that terrible to find a job to earn a living, to fill your life with people and things you like, and then to find your real interests and hobbies?
It doesn’t matter even if you don’t have money, luxury houses and good cars at the beginning, because the little things you win through your hands will make you ecstatic, which is incomparable to the wealth of pure money.
True wealth is inner independence and strength, and the courage to face the whole world.
The identity of a woman should be decided by herself, whether she is a housewife or a professional woman. Even in marriage, she should remain mentally independent and not become an appendage of someone.
Life is precious. Being yourself is the biggest surprise.