‘Bear Town’ by Fredrik Backman

After thoroughly enjoying A Man Called Ove (both book and movie) I was curious about how other books by the same author would be. Bear Town is a beautifully written story about a small town that is absolutely consumed by hockey. Everything and everyone is affected, even those who don’t play, and it is a very serious business–not just a game. It may be all about winning, but it is also about moral choices, love, loyalty and the strength and fragility of the human spirit. Though a bit slow in pace at times, Backman’s character development is excellent and the writing top-notch. The opening line is breathtaking and haunts the whole reading of the book. I will definitely be reading more by this author.

All the hopes and dreams of the town rest on the shoulders of a handful of teenage boys when the junior hockey team makes it to the national championships. The semi-final match is a catalyst for a violent act that leaves a young girl traumatized and a town in turmoil. This is a very different novel than Ove which speaks well for the author whose skill as a writer is multi-faceted.

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