Kept my interest. There's quite a layered plot. Very few characters come out of it with any credit and only the character that starts it off - Marianne Folkesson - seems to get any real satisfaction in her working life sorting out the funerals of people who have nobody to do it for them after their death. We don't learn anything about her private life so it's not possible to speculate there but without exception all the other characters have a pretty dismal working life and an absolutely miserable private life. While I guess the book demonstrates that misery begats misery both in private and public there seems to be something missing - surely there must be someone somewhere in Sweden that is happy and encountered at some point in the book. I fantasize about a neighbour who mends central heating for a living - and loves it, and maybe has sister that runs a wool shop - and loves it, and whose daughter is training to be a teacher - and loves it. And maybe all the happy people are just out of sight!