I started reading Angie Abdou’s fiction books several years ago, and have been following her on Twitter (@angie-abdou) for a while. We shared some camaraderie over her tweets about sitting in a cold rink in August, and I was delighted to hear she had a new book coming out about being a reluctant hockey mom.
Abdou lives in the Rocky Mountains, and envisioned raising her two kids on the ski slopes. She was taken aback, however, when her son developed a love of hockey. As a former competitive swimmer herself, she wanted to nurture her son’s sporty side, even though hockey was not her choice.
My own son is in his final year of minor hockey, and when he started playing about twelve years ago the sport was foreign to me. The most important aspect of hockey to me was that he was having fun. The physical fitness, character building, friendships, and road trips have been bonuses. As has learning about the structure, history, and culture of minor hockey.
As an author, Abdou uses this book to work out her take on the minor hockey world, and I think it’s a valuable read for those involved as well as for those who are curious. She is insightful, smart, and relevant in her observations and suggestions. Abdou does not shy away from sensitive topics like abuse, and also proposes changes to established early segmentation of players.
Some have criticised Abdou for using this book as her personal therapy, but I think that sharing her intimate thoughts serves to help readers consider their own role in, and take on, minor hockey culture.