Power Plays, by Maureen Ulrich, is a lovely read. I finally got around to finishing it last evening. It’s the first of a trilogy. I cared about her main character, Jessie. Small town life alienates Jessie when her dad’s career forces a move from Saskatoon to Estevan. Small-town teenage shenanigans alienate her to the point where a fledgling girls’ hockey team is her only outlet. Even Jessie isn’t sure how her hockey debut is going to work out. The hockey team, too, is on shaky ground. The players aren’t sure the team is worth the investment.
The action includes fairly realistic depictions of teen culture. There is drinking, drug use, and allusions to other teen issues. But it doesn’t wallow in that culture. The descriptions of Saskatchewan hockey culture, not that I’m an expert, are spot on. It probably helped that I’d been to many of the venues the main character visits in her stories. It speaks directly to womens’ sport, womens’ issues, rural living, even touches lightly on gender identity.
Sport-minded readers will love the story. It would probably appeal more strongly to female readers, though the issues are a concern to both genders. I’m looking forward to reading the next two books!