A Nod from Nancy: Seahawk, Confessions of an Old Hockey Goalie by Bruce Valley

This book surprised me–in a good way.  A publicist contacted me out of the blue and asked if I would review it.  I was a little nervous because I prefer to write positively about books and I didn’t have any idea what to expect from Seahawk.  Below is an excerpt from my review.  If you’d like to read the full review, it’s on Amazon.

Seahawk is a love story.  It’s about the love of hockey in its purest form: pond hockey, or “shinny” as it was called in Rye, New Hampshire in the 1940s, played outdoors on the most elemental of surfaces: “black ice”.  It’s about how a group of World War II veterans who loved the game gave a small town a sense of pride and identity, starting a hockey team from scratch and turning it into a powerhouse that made it all the way to the Class B championships in Boston Garden.  Finally, it’s about one man’s life-long passion for the game from his days as a fourteen-year-old goalie with the Seahawks to his debate about when it’s time to hang up the pads.

 Although author Bruce Valley is a former test pilot and an aerospace executive, he’s also a poet and it shows in this memoir.  He writes with profound emotion and insight about the hockey-playing war veterans he hero-worshipped when he was young, and admired even more when he grew up to understand the sacrifices they had made.  He paints the depth of devotion required to keep a team going when Mother Nature repeatedly threw her worst at their home-made outdoor “pond”.  He vividly describes the wide-eyed fascination he felt when he saw his first game of “shinny” at age three and how that excitement has never left him.  I often found myself reading with tears in my eyes, not an experience one usually associates with a book on the intense, hard-charging sport of hockey.

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  • Nancy Herkness

    My apologies to SueL! I deleted your comment about visiting the National Geographic Museum by mistake. I’m so sorry! I hope you’ll comment again.

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