Beartown

Maya Andersson Character Analysis

Maya is the daughter of Peter and Kira Andersson and the older sister of Leo. She is 15 years old. Maya is a talented musician whose first love is playing the guitar, and she and Ana have been best friends since the age of 6. Maya loves her parents and often feels responsible for protecting them, having grown up in the shadow of her older brother Isak’s death. Maya has a crush on Kevin Erdahl. However, at the Bears’ victory party, Kevin rapes Maya. Maya later reports Kevin and is ostracized and accused of lying by most people in Beartown, though she remains strong and steadfast, refusing to stay home from school or consider leaving Beartown. After the case against Kevin is dropped, Maya gets a small measure of justice by frightening him with a shotgun he doesn’t know is unloaded. Later in life, she goes on to become a successful musician and performer.

Maya Andersson Quotes in Beartown

The Beartown quotes below are all either spoken by Maya Andersson or refer to Maya Andersson. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Community Breakdown and Inequality Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Simon & Schuster edition of Beartown published in 2017.
Chapter 2  Quotes

All the love this town could thaw out was passed down and still seems to end up devoted to [hockey]: ice and boards, red and blue lines, sticks and pucks and every ounce of determination and power in young bodies hurtling at full speed into the corners in the hunt for those pucks. The stands are packed every weekend, year after year, even though the team’s achievements have collapsed in line with the town’s economy. And perhaps that’s why— because everyone hopes that when the team’s fortunes improve again, the rest of the town will get pulled up with it. […] So they’ve coached their junior team with the same values their forebears used to construct their community: work hard, take the knocks, don’t complain, keep your mouth shut, and show the bastards in the big cities where we’re from.

Related Characters: Maya Andersson, Kevin Erdahl
Page Number: 4
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Chapter 30 Quotes

Even then, in the police station in Hed, she knew she would survive this. Even then she knew that her mom and dad wouldn’t. Parents don’t heal. […] There will be days when Maya is asked if she really understood the consequences, and she will nod yes, and of all the feelings inside her then, guilt will be the greatest. Because of the unimaginable cruelty she showed toward the people who loved her the most.

They sat there in the police station. She told them everything. And she could see in her parents’ eyes how the story made the same terrible sentence echo through them, over and over again. The one every mom and every dad deep down most fear having to admit:

“We can’t protect our children.”

Page Number: 236
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 35 Quotes

Hate can be a deeply stimulating emotion. The world becomes much easier to understand and much less terrifying if you divide everything and everyone into friends and enemies, we and they, good and evil. The easiest way to unite a group isn’t through love, because love is hard. It makes demands. Hate is simple.

So the first thing that happens in a conflict is that we choose a side, because that’s easier than trying to hold two thoughts in our heads at the same time. The second thing that happens is that we seek out facts that confirm what we want to believe— comforting facts, ones that permit life to go on as normal. The third is that we dehumanize our enemy. There are many ways of doing that, but none is easier than taking her name away from her.

Related Characters: Maya Andersson, Kevin Erdahl
Page Number: 273
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 38 Quotes

She will always be this to them now: at best the girl who got raped, at worst the girl who lied. They will never let her be anyone but that. In every room, on every street, in the supermarket and at the rink, she will walk in like an explosive device. They will be scared to touch her, even the ones who believe her, because they don’t want to risk getting hit by shrapnel when she detonates. They will back away in silence, turn in a different direction. They will wish that she would just disappear, that she had never been here. Not because they hate her, because they don’t, not all of them: they don’t all scrawl BITCH on her locker, they don’t all rape her, they aren’t all evil. But they’re all silent. Because that’s easier.

Related Characters: Maya Andersson, Kevin Erdahl
Page Number: 298
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 41 Quotes

Ana feels like pushing her neighbor up against the wall and telling him that the locker room where those boys sit telling their stupid jokes ends up preserving them like a tin can. It makes them mature more slowly, while some even go rotten inside. And they don’t have any female friends, and there are no women’s teams here, so they learn that hockey only belongs to them, and their coaches teach them that girls are a “distraction.” So they learn that girls only exist for fucking. She wants to point out how all the old men in this town praise them for “fighting” and “not backing down,” but not one single person tells them that when a girl says no, it means NO. And the problem with this town is not only that a boy raped a girl, but that everyone is pretending that he DIDN’T do it. So now all the other boys will think that what he did was okay.

Related Characters: Maya Andersson, Kevin Erdahl, Ana
Page Number: 330
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 43 Quotes

My name is Amat. I saw what Kevin did to Maya. I was drunk, I’m in love with her, and I’m telling you that straight so that you lying bastards don’t have to say it behind my back when I walk out of here. Kevin Erdahl raped Maya Andersson. I’m going to go to the police tomorrow, and they’ll say I’m not a reliable witness. But I’m going to tell you everything now, everything that Kevin did, everything that I saw. And you won’t ever forget it. You know that my eyes work better than anyone else’s in here. Because that’s the first thing you learn on the Beartown Ice Hockey Club, isn’t it? ‘You can’t teach that way of seeing. That’s something you’re born with.’

Related Characters: Amat (speaker), Maya Andersson, Kevin Erdahl, Fatima
Page Number: 353
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 44 Quotes

Inside the house his dad is sitting with a newly opened bottle of whisky in front of him. They didn’t get everything they wanted this evening, but they haven’t lost either. Tomorrow their lawyer will start to prepare all the arguments why a drunk young man who is in love with the young woman is not a credible witness. Then Kevin will start playing for Hed Ice Hockey, taking his team with him, almost all the sponsors, and all their plans for life will be intact. One day very soon everyone around them will simply pretend that this has never happened. Because this family does not lose. Not even when they do.

Page Number: 366
Explanation and Analysis:
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Maya Andersson Character Timeline in Beartown

The timeline below shows where the character Maya Andersson appears in Beartown. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2 
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When 15-year-old Maya wakes up, she stays in bed, playing her guitar. Her guitar is her first love... (full context)
Chapter 4
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In his kitchen, Peter finds Maya’s best friend, Ana. She’s making a huge mess while preparing a smoothie. She greets him... (full context)
Chapter 5
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In the car on the way to school, Ana and Maya joke around, while up front, 12-year-old Leo tunes them out. He asks his dad, Peter,... (full context)
Chapter 7
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...Benji. As they walk through the halls, Kevin is momentarily distracted when his eyes meet Maya’s. When Maya sees Kevin, she almost shuts her hand in her locker. Ana teases her... (full context)
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When Amat sees Maya in the corridor, he forgets everything else. He greets Maya too loudly, and she disappears... (full context)
Chapter 10
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...the shadow of a dead older sibling—they’re either scared of everything or brave about everything. Maya is one of the latter. Lately, Maya has noticed that Ana has changed. She doesn’t... (full context)
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...a series of texts and calls from her family—Leo needs a ride in the afternoon, Maya needs new guitar strings, and Peter will be home late. Then her boss needs Kira... (full context)
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Maya met Ana when they were six years old. Maya had snuck out to go skating... (full context)
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Maya soon came to understand that Ana “was on thin ice in ways all her own.”... (full context)
Chapter 11
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...play video games, but soon realizes that Amat hopes to go out and run into Maya. He starts teasing Amat about his crush. (full context)
Chapter 12
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...been living in Beartown for very long. The children were off school, and Peter took Maya and Leo to go tobogganing. Watching them go, Kira felt “bereft” and cried all the... (full context)
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...rest of the locker room empties, Kevin hangs back and asks Amat if he knows Maya—does she have a boyfriend? At last, reluctantly, Amat shakes his head. He trails the juniors... (full context)
Chapter 14
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...everything is going to happen today. All the very best, and all the very worst.” Maya wakes up feeling feverish and fighting a headache and thinks she ought to spend the... (full context)
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Kira checks on Maya and is surprised to find that her forehead feels hot. Later that morning, she’ll be... (full context)
Chapter 15
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Ana and Maya are in the rink cafeteria, helping Kira prepare food for the hockey crowd. Ana keeps... (full context)
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Amat finds Ana and Maya goofing around in the kitchen and stammers out a question—he’s wondering if Maya is free... (full context)
Chapter 18
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...who #81 is. Amat notices that, for the first time in his life, he has Maya’s attention, too. Amat manages to feint and get past a defenseman with the puck, just... (full context)
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...worst moment of his life, as he realizes that everybody is now looking at Kevin—including Maya. But then Benji skates past and says, “She’ll notice you when we win the final.”... (full context)
Chapter 19
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...or just doesn’t care, but either way, things are never quite the same between them. Maya and Ana are among the crowd, too. (full context)
Chapter 20
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As Ana and Maya walk to the party, Maya is sad when Ana repeatedly checks her makeup; it reminds... (full context)
Chapter 21
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Maya drinks a lot of shots with Lyt and Kevin. Maya is fascinated by the way... (full context)
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...for that?” Ana manages to slip past him and runs toward the kitchen, searching for Maya. (full context)
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Maya can’t find Ana, and she’s so drunk she’s leaning on the walls for support. Lyt... (full context)
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Later, the only thing people will ask Maya is how much she’d had to drink that night. She’s been circling the house in... (full context)
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Maya and Kevin are lying on his bed, and they start kissing. But when Kevin starts... (full context)
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Maya has been warned about sexual assault throughout her life, but she never imagined it could... (full context)
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Later, people ask Maya about her consumption of alcohol and marijuana, but nobody asks her about the terror and... (full context)
Chapter 22
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The older girls in Kevin’s kitchen laugh cruelly when Ana asks about Maya, calling her a “second-rate bitch.” Ana doesn’t look for Maya or call her. She’s hurt... (full context)
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...he heard. But for some reason, he opens the door of Kevin’s room and sees Maya’s tears and torn clothes, and the marks on her neck. His rushing into the room... (full context)
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As Maya walks down the street, she hears Amat calling after her. He says she needs to... (full context)
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Maya walks into the forest, not wanting to pass through the middle of town. When a... (full context)
Chapter 23
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...Peter and Kira will hate themselves for waking up happy the next morning. They think Maya spent the night at Ana’s and are surprised to find her in bed. Maya knows... (full context)
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...his calls sooner. Benji asks him what happened last night and mentions that he saw Maya in the forest. Kevin continues to yell at Benji for abandoning him at the party,... (full context)
Chapter 24
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Maya burns her torn blouse in the shower. It takes forever to clean up the mess,... (full context)
Chapter 25
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Ana walks to school alone. She thinks about calling Maya, but she doesn’t. She feels like Maya abandoned her in the wilderness. She also feels... (full context)
Chapter 27
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Kira fears something is the matter with Maya, but she’s trying to be “the cool mom” and not say anything intrusive. Instead, she... (full context)
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Maya alternates between sleeping and reliving what happened in Kevin’s room. She wishes she could rewind... (full context)
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Ana shows up at Maya’s, having run all the way there. Even though her parents didn’t notice the marks on... (full context)
Chapter 28
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Ana blames herself for abandoning Maya at the party, but Maya assures her that it isn’t their fault. Ana and Maya... (full context)
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Saturday arrives—the day of the final. Early that morning, Maya watches three little girls playing in the street, throwing snowballs and fencing with sticks. Though... (full context)
Chapter 29
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...game. Even in the midst of the preparations, Peter senses that something isn’t right with Maya. Yet he can’t bring himself to knock on her door. Meanwhile, Kira grocery shops and... (full context)
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...Leo are getting into the other car for the trip to the capital. Just then Maya comes out onto the steps. She tells them everything. When she finishes speaking, the ground... (full context)
Chapter 30
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The police keep asking questions about what Maya did, not about what Kevin did. Questions like which parts were voluntary or forced, how... (full context)
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Kira shouts and makes phone calls, while Peter holds Maya’s hand and feels powerless. Having grown up in the shadow of Isak’s death, Maya has... (full context)
Chapter 31
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In the hospital, Maya calmly undergoes all the required examinations. Kira, meanwhile, is at her wits’ end, calling everyone... (full context)
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...from patients and teaches her younger colleagues to do the same, but today, she touches Maya’s cheek and tells her how brave she is. (full context)
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...arrives at the hospital, he wants to triumphantly announce Kevin’s arrest, but when he sees Maya in the hospital room, all he can do is cry. He promises to get Ana... (full context)
Chapter 33
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When Maya gets home from the hospital, she goes straight to sleep; she’s always coped with pain... (full context)
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While Maya naps, Ana sits by her bed and anxiously scrolls through social media, waiting for the... (full context)
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...home on the bus, people begin hearing the news about what happened. They protest that Maya was clearly the one who’d been going after Kevin; the accusation is “bullshit.” Back in... (full context)
Chapter 34
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Back at home, Peter and Kira cry together, unable to figure out how to help Maya through this, suspecting that she’s already stronger than them. Kira says it isn’t Peter’s fault... (full context)
Chapter 35
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...to take someone’s name away from them. People do that by refusing to call her “Maya,” instead calling her “the young woman” or even “the slut.” Nobody uses the word “rape”;... (full context)
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Kira tries to talk Maya out of going to school on Monday morning. Maya explains that if she hadn’t been... (full context)
Chapter 36
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...has demanded that the team pull together for Kevin’s sake. Ann-Katrin says that she saw Maya, and they’ve got to say something to Bobo about that. Hog says they can’t get... (full context)
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Maya’s locker is covered in black ink: “Five letters. All she is to them now.” (full context)
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In the cafeteria, Ana sees Maya sitting in an isolated corner. She starts to walk toward her, but Maya shakes her... (full context)
Chapter 37
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...it. So Kevin tearfully looks him in the eye and insists that he slept with Maya because she asked him to—“You seriously think I could rape someone?” David hugs Kevin and... (full context)
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...choice between the two of them and Peter Andersson—somebody will have to leave the club. Maya lied, for some reason, and it doesn’t matter why. Now it’s their job to force... (full context)
Chapter 38
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Maya sits in class, knowing she’ll always be nothing but “the girl who got raped.” Even... (full context)
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Benji sees Maya go into the bathroom and hears the sound of shattering glass. He goes in and... (full context)
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Jeannette is on her way into the bathroom when she sees Maya emerge with bleeding knuckles. A moment later, she hears an explosion of noise from the... (full context)
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Kira is in warrior mode at the office, researching sexual assault cases, but when Maya texts her to come home, she’s quickly there, holding Maya as Maya finally releases her... (full context)
Chapter 39
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...strange ideas in people’s heads. He also asks abruptly if Amat is in love with Maya. Amat’s eyes fill with tears. Mr. Erdahl tells him that girls do strange things for... (full context)
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Kira takes the garbage out, a chore that used to be Maya’s, but it’s different now. Kira smells coffee from a neighbor’s house and wishes someone would... (full context)
Chapter 40
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...the club down? The club president rings the Anderssons’ doorbell to report the same news. Maya follows her dad into the hallway and stares the president in the eye. (full context)
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Maya cries and apologizes for causing Peter all this trouble. He reassures her that it’s not... (full context)
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A window breaks in the Anderssons’ house. A rock has been thrown, landing on Maya’s bed. Everyone rushes into Maya’s room to see the rock, which has BITCH written on... (full context)
Chapter 41
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...She realizes he snuck into the school overnight to scrub the word BITCH off of Maya’s locker, because he knows how it feels to be targeted unfairly. It’s his “silent protest.” (full context)
Chapter 42
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As Maya stands in the garage that morning, playing her guitar, she realizes that the thrown rock... (full context)
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Maya shows up at Ana’s house, and they have an emotional reunion. Maya has just been... (full context)
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That night, during the hockey club meeting, Maya stands in the shelter of the woods and watches Kevin running around the illuminated jogging... (full context)
Chapter 43
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...meeting quickly devolves into a debate. As Maggan Lyt is speaking, claiming that everyone knows Maya lied and that Peter’s just “playing politics,” everyone looks up and realizes that Peter is... (full context)
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...especially at Erdahl, then speaks: “My name is Amat. I saw what Kevin did to Maya. I was drunk, I’m in love with her, and I’m telling you that straight […]... (full context)
Chapter 44
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At Zacharias’s house, Amat gets a text. It’s from Maya, and it simply says, “Thanks.” He texts back, “Sorry.” He apologizes for taking such a... (full context)
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...be a financially sustainable club left. Then the club president looks down the hallway at Maya and offers her an apology. (full context)
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...about parenthood and coaching. David says that he believes Peter doesn’t just want justice for Maya; he’s looking for revenge. Sune tells David that when he has a 15-year-old child, he’ll... (full context)
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...use against Kevin. But even as she stands there, she still sees lingering bruises on Maya’s neck and wrists. She sinks to her knees in front of Maya, shaking and crying.... (full context)
Chapter 46
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...the investigation is being closed for lack of evidence. When Kira gets home, she and Maya cry together, but Maya tells Kira that she doesn’t want to “live in a permanent... (full context)
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...gets home and cries from shame that they’ve had to give up the case. But Maya confesses that she loves hockey and wants Peter to stay in Beartown and build a... (full context)
Chapter 48
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...borrowed from Bobo’s parents. Amat goes inside and spends the stack of kronor. Later, when Maya gets home, she finds a beautiful new guitar waiting for her. (full context)
Chapter 49
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Kevin is jogging on the illuminated track. When Maya emerges from the woods, there’s no time for him to escape. She tells him to... (full context)
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Kevin collapses, convinced that he’s dying. He’s crying like a baby. Maya lowers the shotgun and pulls a cartridge out of her pocket—the gun was never loaded.... (full context)
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In that parking lot 10 years from now, Maya could walk over and tell Kevin’s wife exactly what he did, but she doesn’t. She... (full context)
Chapter 50
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Ana wakes up suddenly and realizes that both Maya and the shotgun are missing. In panic, she races through the woods. When she gets... (full context)