TBR: Beartown Explores the Effects of Violence

Beartown is a secluded town in the middle of the woods of Sweden. They have one defining characteristic: a fierce ice hockey team that the town’s inhabitants rally behind every winter. Their junior ice hockey team is about to enter the semi-finals when something traumatic happens to a young girl. Accusations fly and the course of the semi-final is flipped in the complete opposite direction. The novel explores the hopes of a small town and the courage it takes for an individual to step up and tell their story. 

At first glance, Beartown by Fredrik Backman seems like a book that focuses solely on hockey, a sport that I know virtually nothing about. However, the plot explores other aspects of the town, with the sport woven into each. The story explores what happens when a violent act happens and how each part of a town is affected by that act. There isn’t one main character featured in the book, it has chapters that focus on different members in the town, a technique that served an advantageous purpose throughout the book. The different point of views that the reader gets throughout the book provide a more complete understanding of the town and its inhabitants. This book is very well written and explores a topic that many authors shy away from. It’s a heartbreaking story that sheds light on a topic that isn’t typically spoken about and its impact on those surrounding the event, especially the victim. Overall, this book was moving and deep, one I would highly recommend.

Content warning for Beartown: rape, violence

Ella Terry is a managing editor for the Jagwire. She’s a junior and this is her second year on the staff. She is an avid reader and loves cats and all things Harry Potter. She loves to bake and is eagerly awaiting the release of Frozen 2.
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