Us Against You

Another engrossing, heart-pounding drama from the author of Beartown! Us Against You is a sucker punch to your gut, and a vice grip on your heart. Oh, and there’s hockey in there too.

It doesn’t start here. But it gets worse from here.

— Fredrik Backman

Synopsis:

Us Against You picks up at the end of where Beartown left off. Hockey is again pitting the towns of Hed and Beartown against each other, and we follow along as the community tears itself apart. What will it take to end – or even pause – the enmity?

The truth about most people is as simple as it is unbearable: we rarely want what is best for everyone; we mostly want what’s best for ourselves.

— Fredrik Backman

Review:

Backman has stealthily become one of my favorite authors – after only two books. His ability to crack open characters and cause you to feel WITH them is an extraordinary gift. I still don’t know anything about hockey. Everything I’ve learned is from the prequel to this book, Beartown. It still doesn’t matter. This story is less about the sport than it is about community, family, loyalty, and love. Hockey is the rallying force behind each of these things – the means to break or bind them all.

Jumping back and forth so quickly between character points of view – even sentence by sentence – is not something I would think I would like or be able to keep up with. But with Backman’s writing, it’s seamless and flows. It carries you along a feeling shared between characters. It also keeps the pace at a steady clip, never letting you rest or zone out.

Us Against You is one of those books that is hard for me to review, since it resides mostly in my emotions and not in my logic. It makes it difficult to dissect and analyze past the basics of what it did to me. Beartown destroyed me, and somehow Us Against You goes a step further. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for his third installment…

It’s hard to care about people. Exhausting, in fact, because empathy is a complicated thing. It requires us to accept that everyone else’s lives are also going on the whole time. We have no pause button for when everything gets too much for us to deal with, but then neither does anyone else.

— Fredrik Backman
Book Details

Us Against You (Björnstad #2)
by Fredrik Backman, Neil Smith (Translator)
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published June 5th 2018 by Atria Books (first published August 21st 2017)

Summary

Another engrossing, heart-pounding drama from the author of Beartown! Us Against You is a sucker punch to your gut, and a vice grip on your heart. A story that will change the way you think about empathy and community, love and loss. Definitely a favorite!

— Cassie
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