cover image A Team of Their Own: How an International Sisterhood Made Olympic History

A Team of Their Own: How an International Sisterhood Made Olympic History

Seth Berkman. Hanover Square, $26.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-335-00553-3

In this entertaining history, New York Times journalist Berkman follows the South Korean women’s national hockey team for the year leading up to the 2018 Olympics. Losing games by as much as 29-0, the squad was a nonentity on the international scene. But thanks to American coach Sarah Murray and the addition of North American “imports” of Korean descent (such as Marissa Brandt, a Korean adoptee who grew up playing hockey in Minnesota, and Grace Lee, whose family immigrated to the U.S.), the team won their division at the World Championship and were poised to be a surprise contender at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in 2018. But then the South Korean government unified the team with the North Korean team just weeks before the games were to begin. Adding players with less skill and distinct cultural differences threatened to derail the team, but, Berkman notes, the players bonded and made it work. The author shines at describing the roller-coaster ride through the Olympics, during which the unified Korean team scored one of their only two goals of the tournament against Japan (“No matter how far North and South drifted apart... few activities brought them closer than rooting against Japan”). Berkman unveils a great story of women’s hockey that’s sure to thrill those rooting for the underdog. [em](Oct.) [/em]