“Us Against You,” Fredrik Backman’s sequel to “Beartown” is like careening freight train coming around a bend not aware that a landslide has taken out the tracks ahead. Backman utilizes a third-person narrator to piece together each character’s story in the tragedy awaiting the small town of Beartown in the upcoming hockey season.
A lot has changed since his first novel, “Beartown” finished even though a short summer separates the collapse of Beartown hockey from its resurrection in the fall. Each account the narrator unfurls is foreboding towards another impending disaster.
“Us Against You” starts out slow and I recommend reading “Beartown” first, but it isn’t required. The third-person narrator style is a little unfamiliar in this type of story, but as the story unfolds it grows on you. The way that the story unfolds it is like a mystery but instead of solving a crime you feel this dread about what is to come and that mystery is the one being told.
“Have you ever seen a town fall? Ours did. We’ll end up saying that violence came to Beartown this summer, but that will be a lie; the violence was already here. Because sometimes hating one another is so easy that it seems incomprehensible that we ever do anything else.”― Fredrik Backman, “Us Against You”