United And Divided
The Scandal by Fredrik Backman (translated by Neil Smith) is a contemporary novel about small town living in Sweden. It is a town both united and divided by ice hockey. Ice hockey dominates everything. It is the be-all and end-all.
The town revolves around ice hockey. You are either in the ‘in’ crowd or you are outside looking in. The novel shows this obsession can blur and warp people’s thinking.
There is the theme of family. Family sticks together. The ice hockey family demand loyalty. There is a high price to pay if you do not give it.
Friendships are important. Some have been forged in childhood.
Ice hockey makes heroes. Once placed on the pedestal, there is only one way to fall.