Author: Fredrik Backman
Publisher: Atria Books
Publish Date: April 25, 2017
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "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.
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.
My Two Cents:
is the story of a small town where the whole town seems to find hope in
the kids' hockey league. There is also a darker aspect to this book
that I was not expecting; this isn't exactly a feel-good story. For my
fellow Americans, the hockey team has very much the same feel as a high
school football team in a small American town. The hockey team brings
the town hope but they also run the town and get away with a lot that
they would not get away with if it weren't for the team.
Backman is definitely on my auto-read list after reading books like "A
Man Called Ove." I picked up this book automatically from my library
without knowing what the book was about. This book is markedly different
than "A Man Called Ove" and "Britt Marie Was Here." Different isn't
bad; Backman's great writing and memorable characters are still present
but don't expect a super uplifting book.
The characters in this
book are very different. Some of them are hiding things throughout the
book and the action is often driven by what is being hidden. The story
follows both the adults and the teenagers in the book, which I really
liked as you get a multi-faceted look at what makes the town as a whole
tick and what brings it to its knees.
Overall, the story was good
but much darker than what I was expecting. It makes me interested to
see where Backman goes in the future with his books!