Big in Sweden

The most hilarious and unforgettable feel-good escape of 2024!

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Pub Date 2 Jul 2024 | Archive Date 16 Jul 2024

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'Full of quick insight and charming detail . . . absolutely packed with one-liners. Sally Franson is a brilliant comic writer' KATHERINE HEINY, author of Games and Rituals

'A flat out delight . . . I laughed out loud, I ugly cried, and I never, ever wanted it to end' MEG RYAN

I would go to Sweden and everything would be different. I'd be surrounded by tens of hundreds of Alexander Skarsgårds. They'd put flower crowns in my hair . . . carry IKEA furniture instead of guns . . . go to museums instead of football games, wear interesting shoes . . .

Paulie Johansson is lost: on the brink of midlife, all she's got to show for herself is a dead-end job and some serious family baggage. Maybe that's why, drunk and sure it's a fool's errand, she agrees to audition for Sverige och Mig, a Swedish reality show where Americans compete to win an unusual prize - a reunion with long-lost Scandinavian family.

To everyone's surprise (and her boyfriend Declan's disapproval) Paulie makes the final cast, dropping everything to jump on a plane to Sweden - armed only with a copy of Pippi Longstocking and a sense of possibility.

At first, it seems clear she has nothing in common with her fellow American contestants. But amid increasingly absurd challenges and on-camera meltdowns, followed at all times by a distractingly handsome Swedish cameraman, Paulie finds herself rethinking everything she thought she knew about her country, her family, and herself.

Sometimes you have to leave it all behind, to find what you've always been looking for . . .

More than just a hilarious fish-out-of-water tale, Big in Sweden is a love story: love for family, friends, country, and - most importantly - oneself.

'What a great, fun, witty summer read. You don't want to miss this one!'

'Super cute book with a main character that will steal your heart'

Praise for Sally Franson

'A wry, observant take' New York Post

'Reading this hilarious, heartfelt book was even more fun than watching reality television. I absolutely loved it!' Jessica Anya Blau

'Wickedly funny' Bustle

'Imagine meeting the Great British Bake-Off . . . with ABBA and karaoke. Big in Sweden is a very funny novel about the families we inherit and the ones we ultimately create for ourselves' Julie Schumacher

'Full of quick insight and charming detail . . . absolutely packed with one-liners. Sally Franson is a brilliant comic writer' KATHERINE HEINY, author of Games and Rituals

'A flat out delight . . . I...

Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781035420148
PRICE £10.99 (GBP)

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Average rating from 10 members

Featured Reviews

This was a fun, sweet book - perfect for summer reading. I was captivated by the Scandinavian setting and I really liked the premise, as Paulie one night spontaneously signs up to compete on a Swedish reality TV show with a prize for the winner to meet their Swedish family. I really liked her slightly chaotic personality and enjoyed her character arc of self discovery and wider exploration of human connection and what it means to be family. A heartwarming story - perfect choice for an escapist beach read.

Many thanks to the author, publisher and Netgalley for providing this ARC in exchange for an unbiased review.

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The novel is about a group of Americans with Swedish heritage who have ‘won’ places to take part in a reality show filmed in Sweden with the prize being to meet their Swedish family. It’s a new take on a popular subject of stories based on reality TV and I was interested in reading it based on the premise and setting. I particularly enjoyed the mention of a hotel that I have stayed in myself in Stockholm!

The pace is good and I was interested in the descriptions of Sweden. The only reason I awarded this book four stars, rather than five, is because I found it difficult to relate to the protagonist (almost certainly a very personal thing, which should not deter other readers from giving the book a try).

Thank you so much to NetGalley and the publisher for a free advance copy of Big in Sweden in exchange for an honest review.

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Thank you to NetGalley and Headline for the ARC in exchange of an honest review.

This appealed to me in on so many levels. I really liked the sound of the concept and loved the executing. I've grown up with a show similar to the one in the novel and reading about it was just so fun. The characters were enjoyable and the romance sweet, The humor was top notch and everything was just my taste. A perfect summer novel.

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i feel like the setting really made this for me - the descriptions of the setting really stood out to me.

i also loved this interpretation of reality tv, the concept really drew me in and i thought the execution was great as well.

i also loved the characters and the humour. this was such a fun summer read!

thank you so much to netgalley, the publisher and the author for the arc 🫶🏻

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