It is summer in Beartown. The citizens are trying to come to grips with the impossible events of the previous winter, and they are doing pretty good. Until they learn that the hockey club is bankrupt and will be disbanded. Many of their players are now playing for Hed. Hed is not just a rival town. Hed is the enemy, Hed is hated beyond reason. And now they will be the only hockey club in the area. For a town that has only hockey to love, this is devastating. It seems, though, that there will be a happy ending. A local politician has found money to keep the club afloat for now and has found a coach. A female coach! But there will be hockey, so all is well. Or is it? The book is told in the first person, someone trying to explain to you just what their town was and is and perhaps will be. And it is deeply moving. Fredrik Backman is Swedish, writing about a tiny town in Sweden, writing about hockey. I know nothing about hockey, have never been to Sweden. Yet this book moved me. I cared deeply about the characters, as if they were my friends, my children. When I finished the book, I was emotionally drained. This is the second book about Beartown, and to truly understand this one, the books should be read in sequence.
eGalley review Publication date 6.5.18