REVIEW: ‘Beartown’ sticks with readers with emotional, engaging plot


Courtesy Simon and Schuster

Staff writer Aaliyah Yan reviews the summer reading novel, “Beartown”.

Aaliyah Yan, Staff Writer

Set in a small town surrounded by the cold wilderness but kept warm by their love for hockey,  “Beartown”, by Frederick Backman, seems to set up for yet another stereotypical book of how “teamwork makes the dream work.” However the energetic sports book is a facade ingeniously used by Backman to cover up the true plot of the book involving an appalling crime.

Beartown, located in the middle of nowhere, will soon also have no one living in it as more and more residents leave. Those who remain stay because their junior boys’ hockey team has a chance at the nation’s semi-finals. A victory means sponsorship but a loss may mark the death of Beartown. With the town’s fate resting on their shoulders, the boys feel a sense of invincibility and run wild resulting in a accusation of rape which causes a divide in the community.

Backman does an excellent job in telling the story through the eyes of multiple characters, leaving the reader with a variety of perspectives to look at. By doing so he slowly lets the story unfold in a way that makes the book even more captivating. Yet one message Backman purposely makes clear right off in the beginning is that in Beartown one must either go with the flow, or face the current of hate that comes with standing up against it.  

If you enjoy reading about topics which are major issues that occur today,“Beartown” is a book that will make you laugh and cry at the same time, but keep you in your seat wanting to read more.