I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Beartown by Fredrik Backman
Pages: 432 pages
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The #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove returns with a dazzling, profound novel about a small town with a big dream—and the price required to make it come true.
People say Beartown is finished. A tiny community nestled deep in the forest, it is slowly losing ground to the ever encroaching trees. But down by the lake stands an old ice rink, built generations ago by the working men who founded this town. And in that ice rink is the reason people in Beartown believe tomorrow will be better than today. Their junior ice hockey team is about to compete in the national semi-finals, and they actually have a shot at winning. All the hopes and dreams of this place now rest on the shoulders of a handful of teenage boys.
Being responsible for the hopes of an entire town is a heavy burden, and the semi-final match is the catalyst for a violent act that will leave a young girl traumatized and a town in turmoil. Accusations are made and, like ripples on a pond, they travel through all of Beartown, leaving no resident unaffected.
Beartown explores the hopes that bring a small community together, the secrets that tear it apart, and the courage it takes for an individual to go against the grain. In this story of a small forest town, Fredrik Backman has found the entire world.
Hockey. Not that interested in the sport so when asked to write this review and right away read this is the basis for the story, I admit to being prepared not to enjoy the story. I can honestly say, that is not the case.
Mr. Backman is a brilliant writer who tells a story about a town who breathes, lives, drinks well they are obsessed with hockey even when teens play it. As he laid the groundwork for this story, I was totally vested and rooting for the characters: good, bad and wounded.
The story is about the game of the year that if you asked the town will set them apart from the rest of the world. That is what they think and how they feel, and no one can take that away from them. The town knows they are going to win because that is who they are and what they do so when a terrible event happens to one of the town members that leaves one of them traumatized, the game and the town will never be the same.
This is a well-crafted story that stayed with me even after I read the last page. I see book clubs reading this and having great discussions about the characters. I recommend you buy this book and don’t let the hockey “scare” you as it almost did me because this story is about life and the choices that get made when it comes at you fast. You know like a hockey puck.
Reviewed by: Linda C.