Searching for Terry Punchout

4 stars

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

First of all, any book with hockey as a main theme is already going to get high marks from me. 🙂 I am a HUGE hockey fan (Go Blues!) and there just aren’t enough good books that feature hockey. This is a good, funny and touching book that I really enjoyed reading. I’ve never read anything by this author, but will definitely read more of his books.

Adam Macallister is from small town Pennington, Nova Scotia. He was raised by a single mother after she split from his father, a NHL enforcer nicknamed Terry Punchout. Adam and his father were never close, even after Adam’s father’s career ended and he returned to Pennington. Terry Punchout initially returned to his home town as a hero, but having lost his meager savings in a failed business venture with no Plan B, he eventually wears out his welcome in town and becomes a “has-been”. Terry eventually takes a job driving the Zamboni and performing maintenance at the local ice rink.

When Adam’s mother dies during his last year of high school, he packs his bag and leaves town without saying goodbye to anyone. He has no contact with anyone from his home town, not even his father. After college, Adam starts work as a sportswriter but is quickly laid off. With nowhere to go, and desperate to jump-start his career, he returns to his hometown with an idea to write a feature for Sports Illustrated about one of hockey’s most notorious goons – his father. Now he just needs to get his father to cooperate.

The characters are charming and I really liked Adam. I enjoyed following his journey as he reconciles relationships with his friend, father and town. He discovers that his opinions about his friends and the town are a bit harsher than necessary, and that life in a small town is more complicated than expected. The book is witty and fun, while at the same time sad and touching.

I recommend you read this book.