Hi, my name is Kim and I am addicted to books. See? I can admit it!!
As always, this is a book that brought me to tears. As much as I love a good hockey book, this series is about so much more than that. They are emotionally charged characters going through real issues. Those issues aren't prettied up and softened, but shown in all their raw, gritty reality.
This new book focuses on the Storm's Swedish goalie, Nicky Ericsson, who sidelined his own career because of his grief and subsequent addictions. Now he is struggling not only to come out on the other side of that, but to regain his place on the team and the trust of his fellow players. He is living his life day to day when, out of nowhere, his sister and her three young children show up, literally on his doorstep. It is in that moment that he discovers that his world is about to change dramatically and he turns to his friend Jessica, who works for the foundation his teammate created for addicts, Light the Lamp.
This is a story that must be experienced to be fully appreciated so there are key plot points I don't want to touch on for fear of spoiling that experience. Nicky's struggles are palpable and he doesn't always handle himself well. If he had sailed through those struggles with only a moderate amount of hardship, I would have hated it. But his struggles were real, dark and hard to overcome and very realistic. Jessica, too, has her own struggles with addiction, albeit in a very different way. Her story was filled with as much struggle and angst as Nicky's, their stories weaving together beautifully!
There are moments of humor, of love, of acceptance, of sadness, of heartbreak. This is a book that tells a real story and all the emotional messiness that comes with life. This is a big part of the reason that I have loved this series so much!
Things to love...
--The author's detailed hockey knowledge
--The strong emotional pull of the stories and the characters
--The portrayal of the team as a real family
--The fact that nothing is sugar-coated
--That we still see bits and pieces of the stories of the other characters from past (and future) books
Read the first 8 Portland Storm books (5 books and three novellas), and then run, run, run to get this one. These stories are fantastic!!