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Beartown, by Fredrik Backman

5/30 | Started 01.09.22 • Finished 02.04.22 | 3 stars

[Spoiler alert]

I really like Backman's style. I like how he breaks up scenes and feelings and characters by breaking up his writing. And I love his use of repetitive phrases to keep the reader engaged and guessing. His characters have a depth and believability to them. Their development keeps the reader invested in the outcome of their story arc. All that being said, I didn't end up liking this book as much as I thought I would when I started it.

The worst thing about having power over other people’s lives is that you sometimes get things wrong.

Granted, the subject matter is difficult: a young girl gets raped by the hockey team's star player. But that didn't make me dislike the book. I felt like it was a lot longer than it needed to be. There was a lot going on but it just seemed to almost want to cover too many bases. And I thought the inclusion of a homosexual relationship was unnecessary. Maybe the secret Benji needed to keep wouldn't have been as explosive without it, but I think it was a tad heavy handed.

Bitterness can be corrosive; it can rewrite your memories as if it were scrubbing a crime scene clean, until in the end you only remember what suits you of its causes.

I finished the book feeling a little tired and not quite as hopeful and invigorated by Beartown "ten years from now" as I should have been. Probably another winner for the die hard Backman fan, so give it a whirl if that's you. If you're new to Backman, maybe try a different one for starters.

Humanity has many shortcomings, but none is stronger than pride.
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