Beartown by Fredrik Backman

I am not a hockey or huge sports fan, but I recently read Beartown by Fredrik Backman and really loved it. The plot revolves around a small town in northern Sweden whose identity is wrapped up in their youth hockey team. Basically the small northern town is dying and has nothing much going for it except this hockey team.

The first part of the book describes the team, coaches, parents, community and all things leading up to the big championship hockey game. About halfway through the book there is an “incident” that threatens to tear apart the team, their families and the entire town. Without spoiling the book, I will say that the ending was very satisfying to me. The book is well written and suspenseful but the strength of this book is in the description of the relationship between the players, coaches, parents, and the community. I loved the character development in this book.

If you’ve ever played a team sport, coached a team, been a parent to a team player, or lived in a small town where sports are king, you will identify with this book.

~ Colleen