Anxious People

Anxious People

by

Fredrik Backman

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Jack’s mom and Jim’s wife is deceased in the novel’s present, and her death looms large over both her son and husband. In life, she worked as a priest and picked fights with and offended everyone, whether they were religious or not. She was adamant that it was her job to protect and defend the poor, the weak, and anyone who was suffering. At home, she was also a jokester and was fond of doing things like putting cornflakes in Jim’s slippers, telling bad jokes, or sticking her finger in Jim’s mouth when he yawned. Though Jack didn’t share his mother’s faith, she taught him the importance of helping people. She encouraged him to become a policeman.

Jack’s Mom/Jim’s Wife Quotes in Anxious People

The Anxious People quotes below are all either spoken by Jack’s Mom/Jim’s Wife or refer to Jack’s Mom/Jim’s Wife. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Parenting and Fear Theme Icon
).
Chapter 67 Quotes

“You’re a good police officer, son,” Jim will say, looking down at the ground. He’ll want to add but an even better person, but won’t be able to bring himself to say it.

“You’re not always such a damn good police officer, Dad,” Jack will grin up at the clouds. He’ll want to add but I’ve learned everything else from you, but the words won’t quite come out.

They’ll go home. Watch television. Have a beer together.

That’s enough.

Page Number: 312
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Anxious People LitChart as a printable PDF.
Anxious People PDF

Jack’s Mom/Jim’s Wife Character Timeline in Anxious People

The timeline below shows where the character Jack’s Mom/Jim’s Wife appears in Anxious People. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3
Assumptions  Theme Icon
...once. Steadying himself and wishing he’d chosen a different profession (his dad disapproves, while his mom, a priest, totally gets it), the officer says they need to know about hiding spots... (full context)
Chapter 10
Parenting and Fear Theme Icon
Mental Health and Connection Theme Icon
Assumptions  Theme Icon
...on the bridge saw was a teenage boy. That boy ran to help, since his mom was a priest, his dad was a policeman, and he believed you should help people... (full context)
Chapter 11
Parenting and Fear Theme Icon
Marriage, Conflict, and Communication Theme Icon
Mental Health and Connection Theme Icon
Assumptions  Theme Icon
...interview room, while his dad sits inside with the real estate agent. The young officer’s mom was right: he and his dad shouldn’t have worked together. She was also convinced that... (full context)
Chapter 12
Parenting and Fear Theme Icon
Mental Health and Connection Theme Icon
The Modern World Theme Icon
...older policeman awkwardly explains that the young policeman is his son. He adds that his wife didn’t want them to work together, as she thought he was overprotective. Blushing, the officer... (full context)
Chapter 13
The Modern World Theme Icon
Assumptions  Theme Icon
...to be a writer in his youth). They both have photos of the same woman—Jim’s wife and Jack’s mom—on their desks. (full context)
Chapter 46
Parenting and Fear Theme Icon
Marriage, Conflict, and Communication Theme Icon
Assumptions  Theme Icon
...agent. Jack waits for his dad to get it, but Jim never gets it. Jack’s mom used to laugh at this sort of thing. They both miss her, and it’s because... (full context)
Parenting and Fear Theme Icon
Mental Health and Connection Theme Icon
...members, and what kind of god makes a priest sick. Now, Jack remembers asking his mom how she could stand to sit with dying people. She told him that it’s the... (full context)
Chapter 49
Parenting and Fear Theme Icon
It’s idiotic of Jack to not have realized everything from the start. Maybe it’s his mom’s fault, in that thinking about her so much today has distracted him. When she was... (full context)
Parenting and Fear Theme Icon
Assumptions  Theme Icon
...standing out on the street waiting for the negotiator from Stockholm, they’re thinking about Jack’s mom and what she’d do. When the lime/pizza order hits Jack in the head, they call... (full context)
Parenting and Fear Theme Icon
Assumptions  Theme Icon
...who’s taking the pizzas in. Jim begins changing in the street and says that Jack’s mom wouldn’t forgive him if he let Jack go. Jack points out that Jim was her... (full context)
Chapter 60
Assumptions  Theme Icon
...what happened, but readers should know that Jim isn’t a great storyteller. Thinking of his wife the entire time, Jim climbed up the stairs, checked the empty apartment, and then knocked... (full context)
Chapter 63
Marriage, Conflict, and Communication Theme Icon
Mental Health and Connection Theme Icon
The Modern World Theme Icon
...off. He silently muses that the most difficult thing about death is “the grammar.” Jim’s wife will never be angry again or put cornflakes in Jim’s shoes. Now, she was a... (full context)
Chapter 65
Marriage, Conflict, and Communication Theme Icon
Mental Health and Connection Theme Icon
Assumptions  Theme Icon
...to start. Jim brushes a tear off her cheek and tells her one of his wife’s favorite jokes: how does one eat an elephant? A bit at a time. The robber... (full context)
Parenting and Fear Theme Icon
Marriage, Conflict, and Communication Theme Icon
Mental Health and Connection Theme Icon
Assumptions  Theme Icon
The robber asks why Jim is helping her. Jim says his wife always quoted someone who said something to the effect of even if the world ends... (full context)
Chapter 66
Marriage, Conflict, and Communication Theme Icon
...branch, but life went so fast, and Roger never got his turn. Julia says Julia’s mom says to never apologize for being good at something. Anna-Lena deems this wise. (full context)
Marriage, Conflict, and Communication Theme Icon
Assumptions  Theme Icon
...apologize, so she entered the other apartment. Jim was left in the stairwell, hoping his wife would be proud or at least not angry. Then Jack came upstairs, the negotiator called... (full context)
Chapter 72
Parenting and Fear Theme Icon
...that he has other reasons not to take it. Really, he just knows that his mom would say that there are worse reasons to turn down a job. (full context)
Parenting and Fear Theme Icon
Mental Health and Connection Theme Icon
The Modern World Theme Icon
Assumptions  Theme Icon
...parents belong to them, and perhaps this doesn’t change when kids get older. All Jack’s mom asked was that her family members do their best and save who they can. (full context)