"Bear Town" by Fredrik Backman

Bobby and I listened to this one during fourteen of the fifty-eight and a half hours we spent driving almost three thousand miles on our meandering road trip to Phoenix and back home over the past two weeks.  It's difficult to find a book we both enjoy...he actually bought not one, not two, but THREE WWII books for us to listen to on this trip.  While I appreciated his enthusiasm for literary enrichment I was like, "Um.  No."   Thankfully, he also purchased The Devil in the White City, by Erik Larson, and I was much more receptive to that one, so we listened to it first.   (I slept through much of it, so will wait to blog it until I've read it again on my own.)



When we finished the first book, we started to listen to a podcast, but quickly realized we didn't want to hear ONE WORD about the political shenanigans of idiots on this trip, so I embarked on a title finding mission.   He absolutely loved A Man Called Ove, and I recently read/loved My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry, and I remembered two of my friends had recommended this one, so we gave it a try.   (Thanks, Sherry and Karin!)

For me, this one started off slowly.  It was a lot of talk about hockey, and its impact on a small Canadian town.  As I've already admitted,  I have trouble staying awake in the car, so I was in and out for a fair bit of the first few hours.  We listened to a large chunk of  the book before making it to Phoenix. When we hit the road to head home and clicked the "play" button, the catasclymic, devastating plot twist occurred.   I  said, "ohhhhh this changes EVERYTHING,"   and we were both enraptured until the last word.   


As always, I don't want to give away too much of the plot, but I do HIGHLY recommend this book.   You will fall in love/hate with the characters,  thanks to Backman's masterful development of them and their stories.   I found myself alternately laughing, crying, and wanted to punch someone to release the rage I felt over how unfair life can sometimes be.   


Two of my favorite quotes: 


“All adults have days when we feel completely drained. When we no longer know quite what we spend so much time fighting for, when reality and everyday worries overwhelm us and we wonder how much longer we’re going to be able to carry on. The wonderful thing is that we can all live through far more days like that without breaking than we think. The terrible thing is that we never know exactly how many.”
― Fredrik Backman, Beartown


“Religion is something between you and other people; it’s full of interpretations and theories and opinions. But faith . . . that’s just between you and God.”
Fredrik Backman, Beartown


The best part of this book?  When it's over, there are TWO MORE books that continue the story of Beartown and is occupants!   We have already started Us Against You, and I have a feeling I'll be reading Winners as well.  Also, I just learned there is a series on HBO.   I know what I'll be watching as I bake away the hours in the upcoming weeks!

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