cover image Home Ice: Reflections of a Reluctant Hockey Mom

Home Ice: Reflections of a Reluctant Hockey Mom

Angie Abdou. ECW (Baker & Taylor, U.S. dist.; Jaguar, Canadian dist.), $17.95 trade paper (260p) ISBN 978-1-77041-445-7

Novelist Abdou (Bone Cage) takes a deep dive into world of competitive youth hockey in a memoir that is at once witty and sincere. Abdou, married with two kids in British Columbia, tells of the dizzying expenses and time commitment that go into keeping her nine-year-old son, Ollie, playing travel hockey. She touches on many aspects of youth hockey: travel logistics that have to be worked out with one’s spouse; angry parents acting out during games (some clubs in Vancouver do not allow parents to watch the games); the fear of concussions (as of 2013, body checking is not allowed until players are 13 years old); and the camaraderie of hockey families, rivals or not. “Sometimes I am the kind of hockey parent I hate,” she admits, explaining away the passion that rises to the surface during games. Throughout she writes of her brother’s encounter with hockey coach Graham James (who molested a generation of NHL hockey players as teens), as well as her own story of an online flirtation and near romance she had with an American academic as an escape from her overly scheduled life. This is a lively, honestly written account of parenting that will resonate with readers who are fully involved in their children’s sports. (Sept.)