Return to the close-knit, resilient community of Beartown with this “engrossing page-turner” (Woman’s World) about first loves, second chances, and last goodbyes—from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Anxious People and A Man Called Ove.
Over the course of two weeks, everything in Beartown will change.
Two years have passed since the events that no one wants to think about. Everyone has tried to move on, but there’s something about this place that prevents it. The destruction caused by a ferocious late-summer storm reignites the old rivalry between Beartown and the neighboring town of Hed, a rivalry which has always been fought through their ice hockey teams.
Maya Andersson and Benji Ovich, two young people who left in search of a better life, come home and joyfully reunite with their closest childhood friends. There is a new sense of optimism and purpose in the town, embodied in the impressive new ice rink that has been built down by the lake.
Maya’s parents, meanwhile, are caught up in an investigation of the hockey club’s murky finances, and Amat—once the star of the Beartown team—has lost his way after an injury and a failed attempt to get drafted into the NHL. Simmering tensions between the two towns turn into acts of intimidation and then violence. All the while, a fourteen-year-old boy grows increasingly alienated from this hockey-obsessed community and is determined to take revenge on the people he holds responsible for his beloved sister’s death. He has a pistol and a plan that will leave Beartown with a loss that is almost more that it can stand.
Discover what it means to forgive with this “hell of a conclusion to an outstanding series” (Booklist, starred review).
Backman (Anxious People) wraps up his Beartown trilogy with the satisfying if overlong tale of two small towns and their inhabitants' traumas and rivalries. After a storm collapses the roof of the hockey rink in Hed, the town's club must share the rink in Beartown, stoking long-held resentments between the clubs. To make matters worse, the editor of Beartown's newspaper discovers someone from Beartown's club is embezzling tax revenue. Meanwhile, after 14-year-old Matteo's older sister dies from a drug overdose, Matteo grows increasingly bitter toward the people from the two towns, who show little regard for his family's problems, and he eventually becomes violent. Backman's narration often feels heavy-handed, and his aphorisms alternate from opaque to obvious ("Guilt is stronger than logic"; "In hockey we know who the winners are, because winners win"). Moreover, many of the chapter-length asides are entirely too aside and lead nowhere. The tension, however, remains palpable after a former hockey player returns to Beartown and everyone assumes he's out to settle a score, and a series of threats escalate into explosive violence and a painful resolution. This will do the trick for insatiable Beartown fans, though others can take a pass.
Raw with Honesty
I really enjoyed this third book about Bear Town, Hed, and the people that inhabit those towns. I think the themes easily translate to any reader that understands smaller towns and the sports that keep them going. I have thoroughly enjoyed all three books. Thanks Mr. Backman for tackling the hard and ugly parts of High School sports and for creating Maya and her deeply honest walk through the worst that can happen.
Had me glued.
I read the series and in my opinion, this was the best one. They just kept getting better!
A nice finish to the trilogy
A thought provoking, emotional finish to the Bear town saga.