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Review: Beartown by Fredrick Backman

Title: Beartown
Author: Fredrick Backman
Year Published: 2016

Genre: Adult fiction
Pages: 415
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Location (my 2018 Google Reading map)Norway

FTC Disclosure: I bought this book with my own money

Summary (from the inside flap of the book): A tiny community deep in the forest, Beartown hasn't been the best at anything in a long time. But down by the lake stands an old ice rink, and in that ice rink, Kevin, Amat, Benji, and the rest of the ice hockey team are about to compete in the national semifinals--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.

Under that heavy burden, the semifinal match becomes the catalyst for a violent act that will leave a young girl traumatized and a town in turmoil.

This is a story about a town and a game, but even more about loyalty, commitment, and the responsibilities of friendship; the people we disappoint even though we love them; and the decisions we make every day that come to define us. In this story of a small forest town, Fredrick Backman has found the entire world.

Review: This book has been reviewed on so many blogs and everyone seemed to give it good reviews. I feel like I am behind a bit on this one, but am glad I finally got around to reading it.

To be honest, it started out slow for me, I found myself wanting to skim the first hundred or so pages and I felt like I was getting far too much detail about every little thing and person in Beartown. But then I got it. We need all that information to be fully invested in the town and its people so that when "the event" happens we feel it in the pit of our stomach.

Reading this book, I was sad, angry, encouraged, and hopeful. It is so timely given the state of the #metoo movement in the US. Whom do we believe, the woman or the man? Does it take men to help us believe a woman? What do accusations do to a town? To a family? To friendships?

This novel is so good.

Challenges for which this counts: 

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