I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to post this review. Not only did I get the book immediately on Pub Day but I also had the Kindle ARC from NeyGalley so I finished this book days after it was released. But, it’s been a busy few months and I’m posting it now!
By Fredrik Backman
Translated by Neil Smith
Published in US & Canada September 27, 2022 by Simon and Schuster
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?
The Winners is the most perfect and heartbreaking conclusion to the Beartown series. I’m struggling to find the right words to describe how much I love this book. It is so easy to fall into these books as if you’re there, as if you are experiencing it. Fredrik Backman continued his characters’ stories and development so strongly it’s hard not to feel a connection to some of them. The feelings and emotions expressed through them, you can feel it as you read. The introduction of new characters was once again integrated so seamlessly, everyone is connected in one way or another, somehow. I love how he shares a little sneak peek into the characters’ futures, the incredible things they have to look forward to. Throughout the story he builds on that, shares a bit more here and there, so you know that they will be happy, in the end. However, not everyone gets the ending they should have, because that is how life is for some. And it will break your heart.
The way Fredrik Backman wrote this, with the original and new characters and leading up to their connections and developing the story with them, the way he built up to this huge thing that happened, is breathtaking. This book was so well thought out and put together, just as the whole series was.
How the characters went on with their lives, despite everything they’ve been through, was amazing to read. Reading their stories get wrapped up, the things they may or may not accomplish. The lives they will go on to have, whether it’s what they had expected or not. It was bittersweet but beautiful.
There is something about Fredrik Backman’s writing that is astonishing. He can take you right into his stories. I said it in my review of Beartown, his writing brings you right there, to the rink by the lake in the cold forest. He introduces you to these incredible characters who you feel like you have known your whole life. His words will make you laugh and cry. They will make you stop and think. From the very first page of each book he tells you what will happen but you’re left wondering how? Why? When?
This series that he has created will forever be one of my all-time favourites. I will reread these time and time again. I will live through the heartbreaking moments over and over. These books will always have a special place in my heart. So to Fredrik Backman, who will likely never see this, I still want to thank you. Thank you for giving us everything you had to write these books. It was truly appreciated and loved.
Thank you to NetGalley, Fredrik Backman and Simon & Schuster Canada for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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