Not being a hockey fan, I was not sure I was going to like this book. However, while the storyline revolves around the hockey team in a small dying blue-collar town, it is not really about hockey but rather is a fascinating look at the people in the community when faced with a crisis. Backman’s characters (author of A Man Called Ove) are three-dimensional, so real that I felt I could relate to them or had known someone in my life like them.
A violent act sends the town into turmoil and pits one person against the other, bringing out both the worst and best in the town. The characters are so well drawn that you can feel their raw emotions as they deal with guilt, pride, anger and the pain and suffering of those with secrets and those who have been wronged.
Bear Town challenges our thinking about right and wrong and good and evil as well as what we stand for.
Others have commented that the first 50 pages are a bit slow. Stick with it and you won’t be disappointed!