Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Twenty Miles Cara Hedley

Twenty Miles by Cara Hedley Isabel (Iz) Norris has always played hockey. She's been told she has her father's hands. Kristjan was a hockey legend in their Canadian town, and he died before she was born. Everyone tells Iz stories about father, whether she wants to hear them or not. It almost as if Iz about Iz has always played hockey with the boys, until she is scouted by a college. Iz leaves her grandmother to go to college and play hockey for the Scarlets. Its only the second year of the teams existence. Iz is trying to figure everything out and learn how to fit in with her teammates. I loved the Scarlets. We get to know many of the core players like Hal, Boz, Pelly and Toad. They are funny, sometimes over the top and commited to each other.

"And then we all fell. That second Hal hung her eyes on the scoreboard must have balanced us there, all of us strung together like a giant, moving mobile, before it crashed down, that second the clock couldn't shuck away, and didn't we all fall when she did, as teams do as families do. And there should have been a crash, we should have heard it, the hollow gunshots of our shin pads hitting the ice all at once, the thunderous crack of helmets colliding, of equipment cracking open and scattering across our ice. But, instead, a sound none of us heard with each other before, a hovering emptiness that was more quiet than quiet: as Hal fell, she inhsled all of our voices, all the swearing and insults and calls for the puck, all the laughter sucked in with her breathe as she fell, as we all fell. And we didn't know when she'd breathe it out again. When she'd let us play on"

I really enjoyed Twenty Miles. Though it took me a second to find the books rhythm. It moves quickly almost like improv. poetry. The beauty of the book was worth a few moments of confusion.

An interview with the author Its great and not so straight edge

The interviewer, Nathaniel G. Moore begins with this

"I attended the Coach House fall book launch dressed in a 2000 NHL all-star hockey jersey. And I was the only one in such an ensemble. I didn’t get a chance to talk to Cara Hedley then, but heard her read. The experience partially, though not entirely, reminded me of when I waited in line with my brother for three hours at Warden Woods mall in the early 1990s to get Patrick Roy’s autograph. We were huge Habs fans and the next in line when his handler said to the line, “No more that’s it,” and my mom started yelling at Mr. Roy. Thankfully however, the amazing Evan Munday put me in touch with Cara and I didn’t have to relive this rejection and celebrity trauma in my professional life."

For Twenty Miles to remind the interviewer of Patrick Roy is any way is a very very good thing.


Colleen said...

Oh man, Patrick Roy! My father loved him...that is so cool.

It took me a little while to get into the rhythm also but once I got it, the book sailed along pretty well. As much as I enjoyed Iz figuring out who she wanted to be and what she wanted to do, it was the team that really sold this one on me. They were funny, crazy, sometimes obnoxious - exactly as you should be in college. It just read as a really sincere book and I felt like I got a peek into a rarely visited world.

Very cool.

Doret said...

Patrick Roy's the man. Wicked goalie skills.

And I loved the team as well. The locker room scenes where great.

Jodie said...

Yay I'm really excited about this book!