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All art is unstable. It's meaning is not necessarily that implied by the author, There is no authorative active voice. There are only multiple readings. David Bowie, 1995

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Powerful! Radiant!

Us Against You: A Novel (Beartown #2) by Fredrik Backman



I finish reading Backman's latest novel about Beartown and am both exhausted and rewarded. I'm somewhat ravaged by the emotions that run through this story of a community that is at once damning of the mob like human condition and uplifted by various individual's actions and dives into communal core values. The rape of Maya has far reaching consequences for Maya, her family and the town that continue to unfold. Familiar protagonists are encountered in the aftermath. New charcters bring new challenges.
I try to slow my reading but I can't. I am driven by the pace of unfolding events to consume the story at an ever increasing rate of knots. The personalities I encounter are awesome.
I stand tall with the Black Jackets , flinch with Maya, am appalled at the exposure of Benji, am confounded by Ana's actions in a moment of rejection--a new moment that changes lives, am caught up by Vida, and feel the silent rage of Leo. I could go on.  Everywhere are ordinary people who are extraordinary in their every day lives, their love of their town, all held together by their insane dedication to hockey. There's a wide spectrum of people and emotions, a community that's  ugly at times, sensitive and forgiving at others.
And bubbling beneath flows a wisdom thst speaks loudly to our times. Another 'no punches pulled' gift from Backman!

A NetGalley ARC

*****

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