“You get success by having extremely high integrity but absolutely zero prestige. Because integrity is about who you are, whereas prestige is only about what other people think of you.”
Two years have passed since the events that no one wants to think about. Everyone has tried to move on, but there’s something about this place that prevents it. The residents continue to grapple with life’s big questions: What is a family? What is a community? And what, if anything, are we willing to sacrifice in order to protect them?
As the locals of Beartown struggle to overcome the past, great change is on the horizon. Someone is coming home after a long time away. Someone will be laid to rest. Someone will fall in love, someone will try to fix their marriage, and someone will do anything to save their children. Someone will submit to hate, someone will fight, and someone will grab a gun and walk towards the ice rink.
So what are the residents of Beartown willing to sacrifice for their home?
It is no secret that I love Fredrik Backman’s books. I’ve read every single one of them and each one is unique and special. His latest-Winners- wraps up the Beartown trilogy which, I can’t deny is one of my favourites among all his books.
Continuing from the events of Beartown (Beartown#1) and Us Against You (Beartown#2), Winners is about the two warring hockey communities of Beartown and Hed learning to co-exist despite their differences.
Backman brings back his array of diverse characters – some who’ve grown faster than was asked of their age, others who absolutely refuse to grow up. They are all struggling to come to terms with the events from two years ago but also see that it is imperative to move forward, if only to save their town, save hockey, and save themselves.
Backman’s writing resonates at a universal level, be it with the small community in which it is set, or in your perception of the world around you. Despite all the characters’ stories originating from different ends, they come together so beautifully.
It is impossible to write a review for a book that engulfs you completely and leaves you an absolute wreck at the end.
To say I was overwhelmed with emotion could not possibly encapsulate the gamut of emotions I felt towards the end of the book. Knowing this was the last one, I spent nearly two weeks reading it, savouring it slowly, patiently, which is most unusual for me. The hardest was to let go, say goodbye to all the characters and yet know they will remain with me, with all their experiences.
The hardest thing in hockey is to change your perception. The hardest thing to change your perception about is yourself.
This book, this series, is more than a story. It is comfort, it is love, it is pain, and it is the promise of sunshine and miracles – the only two things to keep the world going.
The Winners (Beartown #3) by Fredrik Backman. Translated from the Swedish by Neil Smith. Due to be published on 4th October 2022 by Simon and Schuster UK, Simon and Schuster India. This ARC courtesy of NetGalley and Simon and Schuster UK.
Book 35 of 2022.
Aquamarine Flavours Rating: .
Available on Amazon*.
*Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link which means, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.
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