Title – Beartown (Goodreads)
Author – Fredrik Backman (Goodreads)
Published – April 25th 2017
Genre – Fiction
Summary – 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.
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Thoughts on Beartown:
Boy did the little community of Beartown grab my heart.
Slowly at first, I’ll admit. There were lots of characters to get introduced to, which meant a lot of names to keep track of.
But every single character was vital, multi-dimensional, and real. Backman allowed the true actions and raw feelings show the ripple effect on a community.
Very rarely you can find an author who can take one small topic and fully make a reader feel the full culture around it. Hockey comes alive in the pages.
Please don’t let the word ‘hockey’ deter you. Yes, this book revolves around a sport. But I think 90% of reviewers I saw said they have no connection to hockey or sports but this is one of the best books they have read. You will enjoy Beartown.
There is easily hundred’s of deeply thought-provoking quotes from Beartown. But I believe you should only need the first opening paragraph:
“Late one evening towards the end of March, a teenager picked up a double-barreled shotgun, walked into the forest, put the gun to someone else’s forehead, and pulled the trigger.
This is the story of how we got there.”
When you finish, you will know what it means when they say, “I’m from Beartown.”
Easily a highly-recommendable fiction book. This will be on the top lists of many readers, myself included.
In fact, Beartown was only a few votes from #1 on goodread’s Best Fiction of 2017.
Pick it up now.
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