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Beartown (Beartown, #1)
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Archive: Other Books > Beartown / Fredrick Backman - 4****

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message 1: by Book Concierge (last edited Mar 31, 2018 03:06PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 5534 comments Beartown (Björnstad, #1) by Fredrik Backman
Beartown – Fredrik Backman
Book on CD performed by Marin Ireland

”So even Sune finds himself wondering: what are principles worth, if you don’t win?”

That may be the essence of this novel, set in a small town where hockey is not only “the only thing” but also “everything.”

The junior ice hockey team has a chance at winning the national title. Such a win would bring resources into this slowly dying small town – sponsors, an ice hockey academy, more residents. It would also launch star player Kevin towards a professional career with the NHL. For Amat, a 15-year-old who has always been on the outside, it would mean acceptance. For Peter and Kira, it would possibly validate their decision to move their family back to this isolated, though beautiful, small town. But carrying the hopes and dreams of an entire town is a heavy burden for a group of teenaged boys. And one violent act traumatizes players and residents alike, pitting neighbor against neighbor, and making many of them look long and deep into their consciences.

This is definitely a departure from the kinds of novels that have made Backman an international literary star. If you’re looking for Ove or a quirky grandmother who spins elaborate fantasy tales, you won’t find it here. But you will recognize Backman’s gift for drawing characters – good, bad, young, old, talented young people, and alcoholic has-beens. Readers will also find a thought-provoking story line, that makes one question “What would I do?”

And please don’t dismiss this as a “sports” book that focuses only on the men involved in the game. The women in the novel are equally important to the story. Maya and Ana (teen-aged best friends), Kira, Ramona, Fatima, even Kevin’s mother and Benji’s sisters are all complex, strong women who are equal to the task of dealing with a testosterone-fueled hockey culture.

The audio book is performed by Marin Ireland who does a fantastic job. She brings all these characters to life, male and female, young and old.

LINK to my review

message 2: by Amy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amy | 8150 comments Now I really am the last one left! I only glanced at your review, because I’m still waiting to finish it and review it before I read through all of your beautiful reviews. But it looked really well done.

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