Tuesday, September 27, 2022

The Winners by Fredrik Backman

Out today is The Winners, the third book in Fredrik Backman’s acclaimed Beartown trilogy. This won’t be an extensive review because it’s impossible to describe the tale without spoilers. If you haven’t read Beartown or Us Against You, stop reading this review and read those magnificent stories. This is a true trilogy and you must read them in order. It’s been two a half years since the rape and other tragedies in Beartown. Beartown and Hed are rival Swedish hockey towns that detest each other. After the roof of Hed’s hockey rink collapses during a storm, the Hed team is sent to practice in Beartown and problems multiply. 

Maya and Benji have returned to town and everyone is glad to see them but unsure about the consequences of their past issues. Amat is back after an injury and a failed attempt to make it in the NHL leaves him demoralized. Maya’s parents Peter and Kira are overwhelmed by an embezzlement scandal involving the Beartown club. Perhaps, most frightening is Matteo’s bitterness and desire for revenge after his older sister dies of an overdose. 

With so much trauma and violence, it may be up to the women to do something to change the culture before it’s too late. Some reviews found this book too long. I could have read more because I loved the side stories about each of the characters from the first two novels. Revenge, loyalty, friendship, identity, and forgiveness are themes in this novel that takes a slightly moralistic turn. For series fans that turn will be a welcome one.

Summing it Up: At 688 pages, The Winners is just long enough to wrap up the series and show how each of the characters has grown or changed. The “aha” moment is both surprising and believable and series fans will love the conclusion. Open the first page and fall under Backman’s spell.

Rating: 5 Stars 

Publication Date: September 27, 2022

Category: Fiction, Five Stars, Grandma’s Pot Roast, Book Club

Author Website: https://fredrikbackmanbooks.com/index.html

Reading Group Guide: https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/The-Winners/Fredrik-Backman/Beartown-Series/9781982112790

What Others are Saying:

Kirkus Reviews: https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/fredrik-backman/the-winners/

Publishers Weekly: http://www.publishersweekly.com/9781982112790

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