Beartown is the third Fredrik Backman book that I have read, and it did not disappoint. I also read A Man Called Ove and Britt-Marie Was Here. Fredrik Backman is quickly becoming a favorite. His stories always have to do with the rising of an underdog or someone who seems to be beat. And I just love it. Although his books have heavier themes, they are ultimately uplifting through this beating of the odds.
Beartown is a hockey town. It is located in the middle of nowhere in the forest. It is cold and snowy most of the time. The town used to be more thriving, but businesses closed and people moved away. And then, all the town had left was hockey.
Beartown follows the story of several of the residents of Beartown during a pivotal time for the town. The junior hockey team is fighting its way to the championship game, which could change the town by bringing the economy of the town back to life. Winning the championship could mean more jobs, more money and a hockey school in town, which is a lot of pressure to put on a group of high school boys.
After the semi-final game, a violent act turned the town upside down, and leaves the town picking sides. Things get really ugly, accusations are made, and the town is really left questioning their beliefs and loyalty.
Beartown is about the hope of a town, and what happens when secrets tear that town apart. It is also about what happens when one person stands up and fights. It is also a coming of age story, which I always enjoy, and how one act can cause a child (and a group of children) to grow up overnight.
Although it was really good, Beartown was really different from A Man Called Ove and Britt-Marie Was Here. Both of those has a lot of humor and really quirky characters. There were definitely sad and serious elements to them but there was also a lot of humor, especially through the odd characters. Beartown lacked that humor and quirkiness that the others had. I am not saying that it wasn’t just as good, it was just really different from the others. And I also get that for the story he wanted to tell, that humor wouldn’t have been appropriate.
I thought this was such an amazingly timely book, given things that are currently going on. And something that might be an important book for parents and teens to read. As a woman, it made me feel really angry.
But anyway, it was really good and I highly recommend all three of his books.