Tag Archives: Fiction

Review: Beartown

Beartown

Beartown
By Fredrik Backman
Washington Square Press, 9781501160776, February 2018, 432pp.

The Short of It:

A small town finds community in the sport of hockey but it’s more than a sport for most of the players and coaches.

The Rest of It:

There is a big match coming up for this small town hockey club and it’s literally all hands on deck and the club decides that their only option is winning. Just win. That is the instruction that the boys are given and that’s what they intend to do. The on-ice ribbing of weaker players and the forced acceptance of a younger player into their immediate circle causes quite a bit of friction. To add fuel to the fire, coaches are being moved around and managers are encouraged to retire no matter how many years they’ve been in the club.

As Backman pulls us in with compelling characters and colorful town folk, the behavior and actions of one player, their star player, puts a damper on the pre-game excitement when he commits a crime. His punishment could cost them the win. As the town is divided over what to do, tensions rise and suddenly the game doesn’t seem as important as it once was.

I have read Backman before but I wasn’t prepared the the darkness of this story. I was just skating along, enjoying the healthy competition of the boys and their excitement over the game but then wham, you turn a corner and it gets very serious, quickly.

I know people who have loved this book and cried buckets of tears while reading it but I didn’t even tear up. I was angry and irritated and felt that I wasn’t prepared for where the story went. I know that it’s part of a series and that the new book hits in October, I believe, but now I am not sure I want to read the others. Someone convince me.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: It All Comes Down to This

It All Comes Down to This

It All Comes Down to This
By Therese Anne Fowler
St. Martin’s Press, 9781250278074, June 2022, 352pp.

The Short of It:

My expectations for this one were high but it fell short for me.

The Rest of It:

Meet the Geller sisters: Beck, Claire, and Sophie, a trio of strong-minded women whose pragmatic, widowed mother, Marti, will be dying soon and taking her secrets with her. Marti has ensured that her modest estate is easy for her family to deal with once she’s gone––including a provision that the family’s summer cottage on Mount Desert Island, Maine, must be sold, the proceeds split equally between the three girls.

You’ve probably read a story like this one before. A family home, filled with memories suddenly goes up for sale and there is the last “hurrah” of all the family members getting together to say goodbye to it. I was eagerly looking forward to this one because I loved Fowler’s A Good Neighborhood. But this one left a lot to be desired.

For one, I didn’t care for any of the characters. I found it hard to relate to any of them. As sisters, they didn’t seem to be all that close and honestly, there was little to be sentimental about in regards to the house. However, I liked it enough to give it a chance and although the three sisters didn’t work for me, some of their individual stories were interesting enough to keep me reading. I expected it to be quite compelling given my love for her previous book but it just landed too softly for me. Plus, I finished the book and then a week later couldn’t remember if I had read the ending so read it again. It left my brain that quickly.

Have you read it? What did you think?

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.