Beartown by Fredrik Backman @Backmanland @penguinrandom

Book Description:

In a large Swedish forest, Beartown hides a dark secret . . .

Cut-off from everywhere else, it experiences the kind of isolation that tears people apart.

And each year, more and more of the town is swallowed by the forest.

Then the town is offered a bright new future.

But it is all put in jeopardy by a single, brutal act.

It divides the town into those who think it should be hushed up and forgotten, and those who’ll risk the future to see justice done.

Who will speak up?

Could you stand by and stay silent?

Or would you risk everything for justice?

Which side would you be on?

My Thoughts:

I’ve read a few of this author’s books now but none are as thought provoking as Beartown.

The opening of this book had me frantically turning the pages to see what awful event happens in this small town. It flicks between different characters so you get to see what is going on in their heads. As a parent, the storyline will hit you hard. As we don’t really know what has happened and to who to start with, I wasn’t quite sure how it was going to play out. The author drops hints as we go along leading up to something that has a huge impact on everyone in the small town. At times I was infuriated with peoples actions but then there were others who really step up and I could feel my heart swelling with pride at the bravery of these characters.

Ice hockey is a huge part of this story as well as for the community. In some ways it is good to see how supportive all the residents are of their team as they are very proud of them. Everyone takes it very seriously, maybe too seriously at times. There were a few characters from the team who stood out to me with their actions. In some ways they are still boys themselves but with what happens it has their loyalties split and having to make some very grown up choices that even some adults themselves would have struggled to make.

Beartown was an engrossing and uncomfortable read that was impossible to put down. My heart was literally in my mouth the whole time throughout reading this book. Even having finished it, my heart is racing as the build up of suspense as to what you think is going to happen, wow, the author seriously messes with your head and it will make you want to give your child/children an extra big hug! Without a doubt this book for me is the author’s best novel with the strong emotions it has the reader going through. Powerfully moving!

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