It started in a cemetery, where they begrudgingly share a bench. “Shrimp”, the childless young widow and librarian with a sharp intellect and a home so tidy that her jam jars are in alphabetical order, meets Benny, the gentle, overworked milk farmer who fears becoming the village’s Old Bachelor. Both driven by an enormous longing and loudly ticking biological clocks, they can’t escape the powerful attraction between them.
But how will she learn to accept that he falls asleep at the opera and has a house full of his mother’s cross-stitch? And how could he ever feel at home in her minimalist apartment, bare as a dentist’s waiting room?
* * * * * * *
First I’d like to thank Katrina for sending me her copy of Benny & Shrimp. This slim novel was as addicting as the blurb on the cover claimed. The chapters are 3-4 pages and alternate between Benny and Shrimp’s version of the same story. It’s a rather quiet story that had me smiling much of the time.
The main characters are in their mid-late 30s and getting worried that life is passing them by. Instead of observing, they want to participate in life. So they take a leap and strike up an unlikely friendship that becomes much more – but what? They reach a point where they know it’s time to make a big decision.
I don’t want to give away any more of the book but I will encourage you to make time to read Benny & Shrimp. I’m glad I did and hope you will enjoy it as much as I did. Thanks again, Katrina!
Note: Also included in the book is a Q&A with the author as well as discussion questions. In the interview Katarina Mazetti says she wrote a sequel a few years after Benny & Shrimp was published. Has anyone read it? I searched online but didn’t find any mention of it. Maybe there isn’t an English translation yet.