CBR14BINGO: Cold square (BINGO! Snake to Bodies)
(Takes place in Sweden. Lots of ice talk.)
When a book moves you like this one, the review is so hard to write. I’m afraid that I’m gonna end up with at least 250 words that amount to “GAH! This book!” I know this because that’s what I kept saying out loud as I read it. I had to put the book down and wipe my eyes when my tears made it too blurry to read. Many, many times. I don’t know how my review can be anything but a stream of emotionally charged thoughts. So, I’m just gonna dive in. It was one hell of a satisfying conclusion to these wonderful books.
If you haven’t read this series, do yourself a favor. Stop reading this and go grab a copy of Beartown. Begin that journey, dear Cannonballers. You will not regret it.
This is the third book in Backman’s Beartown trilogy about a small town (and a neighborhing one) deep in the Swedish forest where life revolves around hockey. That’s it. Really. That’s what it’s about. Bar owners, politicians, lawyers, students, coaches, hockey players, firefighters, nurses, and factory workers living their lives. Lives of love and loss, struggle and success, all nestled in tiny villages that spend most of the year covered in snow and ice.
Two years after a terrible tragedy affects both communities, a damaging windstorm sweeps through the towns of Hed and Beartown. On the same night, a beloved member of the Beartown community dies. As the town gathers for the funeral, some who had left home to escape the past return to mourn. They run headlong into everything that Mother Nature has stirred up with the wind.
I read back over my other Backman reviews and my reaction to him has not changed. He has an innate ability to dig into the core of what it is to be human. Simple people are not always so simple. Least of all to each other. Backman is the master of illustrating that in his own unique way. His succinct writing is hopeful and devastating at the same time. And the foreshadowing. People! I’m not sure how this man does it. I cannot explain how a writer can almost lay out the entirety of the conclusion of a book within the first few chapters and still keep you along for the ride. Foreshadowing is Backman’s jam. His ability to use it to bring you into the story and KEEP YOU THERE knowing all the while that you are chugging along to a terrible heartbreaking conclusion is nothing short of astounding. It is mystifying how he can get you to root for characters even after he hands you their tragic ending. He keeps you cradling hope the whole way. There is beauty in his books that I cannot adequately describe in a book review. Backman is an experience.