I have said this a couple of times before and may definitely say it again, I needed a break before I put any thoughts on paper, after putting this book down. There is an effect certain books have, they get inside and burrow into your mind and ask uncomfortable questions and the weight has to become manageable before you try to mangle it into an understandable presentation .
This book has nuggets hidden within paragraphs that deepen the intricate tapestry of human life already described.It has to be an art to not just focus on the main players but also everyone who features in the background, who add flavour to usual times as well as troubled ones. The community of Beartown is made up an all-consuming dependency on hockey. They see it as a salvation. Then, one night , the unthinkable happens and a girl is left to her own devices on how to respond to the situation. The choice she makes will test the mettle of her family and every human in that radius to decide if they ( to quote a character in the book) ‘ know the difference between good and evil’. The hypocrisy involved in something everyone would find familiar but these collection of moments ( another paraphrased quote from the book), that is life challenges people to dare to behave as their conscience orders them to.I have always shied away from confrontation, and therefore understand the reactions of a few people in the book to the situation at hand, while simultaneously not liking their actions that follow.
The plot may be short but since it involves a community whose loyalties and greed are at stake, the tale is large enough to encompass years and multitude of lives into its fold. I am definitely going to be trying to get my hands on other books by this author.
I never imagined I would find so much pleasure in reading translated versions. I always assumed that the translation may take some shine off of the original. Either I am wrong in that assumption, or the original was so powerful that even without some of its shine, it is still a brilliant read
P.S: It is a very uncomfortable read in some ways, and therefore not recommended for anyone who is not up to these kinds of books.