Beartown by Fredrik Backman (also published as Scandal)
What a book!
I can’t believe this book is written by a man. Yes. I know, Prejudice. Whatever. Sorry to sound like an arsehole. But the strength of emotions and the amount of painfully accurate truth in this book is dazzling. I cannot express my admiration on how Backman captured the psychology of an 15 year old girl. Two actually. Ace.
I won’t lie, I wasn’t going to pick up this book to read if it wasn’t given to me and this is mostly because the intermittent mention of HOCKEY and SPORTS in the book blurb. Hockey is almost no interest to me, and I really didn’t want to read a book that rolls around a sports-crowd etc. But hell, no. It wasn’t about that at all.
Yes, Hockey is in this book. It very much is. The amount of sexism that revolves around “sports people” is infuriating. What it takes to be “good” at a certain type of sport also is mind-blowing.
Beartown is dying. People are selling their homes to move. No jobs, no future, almost no hope. Almost. There is a junior hockey team in town that could be THE BEST in the country. Then they can have a new ice rink. Some money. Investments. Even a shopping mall. Jobs. Hope. A future or Beartown is pretty much depending on this Junior team.
So people WORSHIP the ice-hockey bears in Beartown. They are the hope. And we witness what happens. And it’s more than you can imagine.
This is a sad novel, but it does have a light tone majorly. It didn’t make me cry, but it did make me think a lot. We live in a man’s world and every day sexism is only “normal” and something to be lived with, sadly.
I can’t say more and reveal the books plot too much, but please comment if you have read it! Would love to hear what you have made of it.
5 stars from me.