Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Picks and Sticks

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Picks and Sticks

General Store Publishing House, February 2014

From General Store Publishing House:

Jane Matagov, teen figure skating sensation, finds herself on a collision course with disaster when her dormant passion for hockey is re-ignited during an era when girls just didn’t play the game in Picks and Sticks.

In the aftermath of the 1972 Canada-Soviet Summit Series, Jane, who lives in Parry Sound, Ontario, befriends a defecting Russian hockey coach, Ivan Stepanov, and his mysterious daughter, Irina.

To the alarm of her mother, Deb, Jane’s interaction with the Stepanovs puts her promising skating career in limbo, while re-awakening her long-lost love of hockey—a sport she and her brother, Mike, learned as young children from their father, Bud, a semi-professional hockey player before his tragic death. For Jane, the original pond where Bud taught her and Mike to play becomes as much an emotional battleground as a circle of strength.

Jane’s coach, Leonard, Deb’s former pairs’ skating partner—whose own hopes of glory were dashed years before—is driven to become a world-class coach through his protégé. But when Jane and the Stepanovs’ effort to form a clandestine female hockey team is discovered, Jane’s mother can’t bear it, her coach can’t take it, and her hockey-mad town will never be the same.