My apologies to the readers who follow this blog. Although I had good intentions to stay on track in 2019, the busy days have taken over so I have some catching up to do!
I started 2019 with Bear Town. If you have not read it, please do pick it up and you will not be disappointed. Friends kept asking me if I had read Bear Town and sharing just how great it was and yet I procrastinated. Finally, I picked up a copying, hoping that the book was not too steeped in hockey and knowing how much I had enjoyed the the audio version of Backman’s book, A Man Called Ove during my commutes in 2015.
To be honest, for the first third of the book, I kept wondering what all the hype was about. I slogged through the hockey details, got to know all the sport-obsessed characters and learned about the politics of a town that was hoping for renewal if it was chosen as the location of a new hockey school. If I hadn’t heard so many recommendations, I might have put it down at this point but I continued on…
Similar to a hockey game, the book started slow and then the punches started. The drama continued and I became so engrossed that despite the late hours, I could not put the book down! I won’t share any spoilers, but the whole town became involved in turmoil, lives were impacted and individuals, families and the community had to reconsider their actions, the sport and the collective mindsets in this town. Living in a hockey town filled with families hoping that their children will be the next Wayne Gretzky, perhaps this is the book for those parents who are reliving their own missed opportunities instead of simply supporting their kids in the fun of the game. (Check out this article detailing over 30 parents who were and were involved in a “brawl” at a game played by eleven and twelve year olds in Simcoe this winter!)
Frederik Backman is a Swedish author yet it was great to see a small Canadian connection in this book. His beautiful prose draws the readers in and I would also recommend the short stories in The Deal of a Lifetime which I had enjoyed this past December.
What did you think? Have you read Bear Town? Did you love it? I look forward to hearing your thoughts and also to finding out what happens next in Bear Town as the sequel, Us Against You is on my ever-growing TBR pile!
I’ve heard the same from others – that it’s slow to warm up. But, as you say, that’s a good thing to know going into it. I just found a copy of this at the thrift store for a dollar, so hopefully it won’t get buried at the bottom of a pile somewhere!
I read Bear Town with my book club last year! It made for an excellent discussion. While it was definitely slow to start, it is such an important read. I do plan on continuing on and reading the next book.
Happy to see you around the blogosphere again!
I have the sequel ready too!
I am trying to find more time blogging but my new role as a school board trustee is keeping me busy on top of family and my day job!!