My grateful thanks to Jen Lucas of Jen Med’s Book Reviews, whose concept this is and who generously said I could use it.
This is a book, which, together with its predecessor, soars above the crowd; two novels that examine societal behaviour by tackling the big issues and putting them into small town life. If that sounds grandiose, it isn’t. This author shows us humanity in all its forms; makes us laugh and cry, creates characters who can at once be divisive and healing and shows us how easily manipulation can make puppets of us all.
My choice for today’s top read of 2018 is an astounding read. if this author were to rewrite the telephone directory, I think I’d buy it sight unseen.
Can a broken town survive a second tragedy? The follow-up to the international bestseller Beartown.
Beartown is dying . . .
Tucked in a forest in the frozen north, Beartown’s residents are tough and hardworking. They don’t expect life to be easy, but they do expect it to be fair.
Which is why the sudden loss of their hockey players to the rival town of Hed hurts. Everyone needs something to cheer for in the long winter nights. Now they have nothing.
So when a new star player arrives, Coach Peter sees an opportunity to rebuild the team – to take on Hed and restore Beartown’s fortunes. But not everyone in town sees it his way.
As the big game between both towns approaches, the rivalry turns bitter and all too real. Once the stands rumbled with threats to ‘kill’ and ‘ruin’ each other, but the residents didn’t mean it. Now they do.
By the time the last goal is scored, someone in Beartown will be dead . . .
Us Against You is the story of two towns, two teams and what it means to believe in something bigger than yourself. It’s about how people come together – sometimes in anger, often in sorrow, but also through love. And how, when we stand together, we can bring a town back to life.
I adored Beartown, the first book in this series and I loved Us Against You just as much. Backman’s writing is as smooth as silk and his narrative arcs are perfectly formed jewels. He has this trick of telling us at the beginning of the chapter what is going to happen, yet by the end of that chapter we are left astonished that it has.
Intense, propulsive, shocking and teetering throughout on the verge of violence, this is a book that stirred all my emotions as the suspense mounted and the story took on a life of its own.
If you read nothing else, read this.
You can read my review here