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.