The author of the Canada Reads–nominated The Bone Cage tackles the ups and downs of amateur hockey, from a mother’s point of view
Over 570,000 people are registered in Hockey Canada and over 600,000 in Hockey USA. It’s a national obsession. But what does that really mean when your child wants to play on a team? As a former varsity athlete and university instructor teaching sport literature, novelist Angie Abdou is no stranger to sport obsession, but she finds herself conflicted when faced with the reality of the struggles, joys, and strains of having a child in amateur hockey. In Home Ice, with equal parts humour and anguish, Abdou charts a full season of life as an Atom-level hockey mom, from summer hockey camp to the end-of-season tournament. Her revealing stories and careful research on issues such as cost, gender bias, concussion, and family pressures offer a compellingly honest and complex insider’s view of parenting today’s young athlete in a competitive and high-pressure culture.
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Angie Abdou is the author of five novels, including, most recently, In Case I Go, a finalist in the fiction category of the Banff Mountain Book Award, as well as named a best book of 2017 on lists by CBC Books and Rogers Writers’ Trust. The Bone Cage was a CBC Canada Reads finalist, defended by NHL star Georges Laraque, and was awarded the 2011–12 MacEwan Book of the Year shortly after. Her novel Between was named a Best of 2014 book by PRISM Magazine, 49th Shelf, and The Vancouver Sun. Angie is Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Athabasca University.
Published: September 2018
Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5 in.
“The author brings a novelist’s eye to the story, telling it in first-person present tense; with its sharp characterizations and dialogue in place of autobiographical exposition, the book is a first-rate memoir and a fine example of narrative nonfiction. It's also a must-read for parents with youngsters who play organized sports.” — Booklist Starred Review
“This immersive memoir brings together the personal and a good dollop of research in sports psychology. Abdou writes with uncommon frankness about the raw moments of hockey momdom and her personal life.” — Toronto Star
“Angie Abdou cracks open the world of the hockey mom with her distinctive, wry humour. Not only does she explore the winner-take-all hockey culture, she confronts her own place in it and the price it exacts on her family and her marriage. Brave and refreshingly candid, Angie delves into issues many of us grapple with but don't dare voice.” — Jan Redford, author of End of the Rope: Mountains, Marriage, and Motherhood
"A frank, funny, and highly emotional memoir, I found myself crying and laughing out loud and shaking my fist and nodding vigorously, and that was just in the first 50 pages. This is the book all hockey parents must read.” — Grant Lawrence, CBC broadcaster, goalie, and author of The Lonely End of the Rink
“A cleverly crafted memoir. . . Abdou’s memoir explores universal themes: the challenges of parenting, of relationships, of finding balance. Throughout, Abdou's penetrating wit provides a humorous foil to the seriousness of the hockey machine. . . Far beyond a hockey memoir, Home Ice is about the wrenching decisions parents make in their effort to give their children the best start in life. Most of all, Home Ice is about love.” — Voice Magazine
“A specialized memoir that is written with a genuinely authentic and inherently reader engaging narrative, Home Ice is an entertaining, yet thoughtful and thought-provoking read from beginning to end.” — Midwest Book Review
“[Angie Abdou’s] book provided a surprising and refreshing call to action . . . memoirs like hers feel like real community, welcoming places next to her on the bench as we cheer our young athletes on.” — Sports Literature Association
“A year in the life of an atom-aged players Mother, who took notes on everything from registration fees to concussion worries.” — Toronto Sun
“This is a lively, honestly written account of parenting that will resonate with readers who are fully involved in their children's sports.” — Publishers Weekly
“A beautifully written and wise look at the troubling culture surrounding amateur sports through the eyes of a conflicted hockey mom. Home Ice reminds us ‘the best lessons we take from hockey have nothing to do with winning.” — Erica Ehm, Creator and Publisher of YummyMummyClub.ca
“Needing more hockey books written by women in our canon, Angie Abdou delivers with writing so clear you can smell the arena ammonia and feel the ice shavings through a novelist’s eye and a parent’s heart. Abdou has emerged as one of the country’s best writers on sport at any level.” — Rheostatics’ Dave Bidini, author of Keon and Me and publisher of the West End Phoenix
“Angie Abdou’s son loves playing hockey; she loves her son. Ergo, she must strike a deal with the sport – with the expense, risk of concussion, crazy weekend commutes, early mornings, marital strains and occasional heartbreak involved in being a hockey mom. I don’t give a hoot about hockey but I couldn’t put this memoir down. As a former competitive athlete, Abdou has to rethink her focus on winning at all costs when it comes to her son's happiness on the rink. Home Ice is searingly honest, compassionate and always engaging. Anyone who has experienced the unique anxiety of watching a son or daughter play a team sport will be grateful for this truth-telling book.” — Marni Jackson is the author of the bestselling memoir The Mother Zone, and Home Free: The Myth of the Empty Nest
“Home Ice is an open, honest account of minor hockey life and I think parents with kids in hockey, or even considering it, should give this book a try.” — Allison Hikes the Bookwoods blog
“A book that is both insightful and lyrical." — The Library of Pacific Tranquility blog
"This entertaining book [is] a valuable part of the broader discussion about what hockey is, and what it should be, in this nation . . . Abdou is a brave, fine writer.” — Active for Life
“A no holding back investigation and revelation of what amateur hockey can do to a family and a marriage. I think about this book every day.” — CBC Books