By Fredrik Backman.
Genre: Hockey literature, contemporary fiction.
(TW: Rape, rape trauma, bullying, physical assualt)
Hockey in Beartown is not just a game. It is their religion. The very pulse of their existence. The soul of their survival. But when the captain of the hockey team, their ace player is accused of raping the 15 yr old daughter of the General Manager of the Beartown Hockey Club, it causes tremors in the otherwise quiet town. Sides are taken. Some ignore. Some act. Coz that’s an easy way out, for both. Hockey is bigger than the Club. The Club is bigger than the player. But is it? And at what cost? And who is to pay? This book plays on its subjectivity.
At the onset, one may find it has a very common theme. A girl assualted, powerful guy might get away, humiliation, theories, character assassinations, blah blah blah. But the presentation, the narration, the point of views, the reactions of the people involved, directly and indirectly is soul stirring. The trauma of both the families, fighting for their child, is faultless to the the extent that you feel a pinch for them.
Fredrik Backman is a master in human emotions. Common social evils ( there are more than one here) are moulded to make a gorgeous story. His expressions are astonishing. Every page has something profound and deep that you have to read it again to re-experience the feelings.
This is a Swedish book translated in English. It is the first book in the Beartown series, followed by Us against You. Slow paced but piercing. Read this if you haven’t already.