Booklist Reviews 2017 March #1
Everyone knows Beartown is a hockey town. And everyone in Beartown knows someone who is connected to hockey, from the lonely owner of the local bar to the former athlete now managing the supermarket. In a town dying from economic decay and isolated by the surrounding wilderness, Beartown needs its junior hockey team to bring home the championship and bring in tourism and sponsorship dollars to keep the town alive. The son of a wealthy businessman and team patron, Kevin is the squad's superstar. Amat is an immigrant whose speed and skill on the ice may be his ticket to popularity. Maya is the daughter of the team's beloved general manager. When the paths of these three collide in the supercharged aftermath of a decisive game, the town's financial survival rests on the moral convictions of its most vulnerable citizens. The sentimentally savvy Backman (A Man Called Ove, 2014) takes a sobering and solemn look at the ways alienation and acceptance, ethics and emotions nearly destroy a small town. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.
LJ Reviews 2016 December #1
The isolated Bjornstad (that's Beartown, non-Swedish speakers) is collapsing under the burden of unemployment and desperately needs its amateur hockey team to win the junior ice hockey championship. Then, during a boisterous celebration after an important win, something happens between star player Kevin and the coach's daughter that threatens everyone's dreams. Clearly echoing the New York Times best-selling Backman's No. 1 LibraryReads pick, Britt-Marie Was Here.. Copyright 2016 Library Journal.
LJ Reviews 2017 April #1
Backman (Britt Marie Was Here) expands his quirky character base in his latest novel, which once again takes place in a remote Swedish town. Bjornstad, or Beartown, is an ice hockey town like many small American communities are football towns: no bigger event occurs than home games, where the good cheer of the supporting fans, former players, and sponsors, known as "The Pack," sometimes flares into violence against rivals. As the local youth team snags a possible chance at winning a junior championship, the narrative follows a cross-section of citizens. In their struggles with modern life, these dozen or so individuals face challenges, make decisions, and frequently surprise the reader. Backman's sketchy style always leaves his audience wanting more explanation, but he successfully draws a community portrait that manages to be both unique and universal. There is enough hockey action to satisfy sports fans and plenty of material for group discussion.
PW Reviews 2017 February #4
The bestselling author of