We Ride Upon Sticks
Readers, this book is weird. But if you love novels told in interconnected short stories, unique prose, and 80's nostalgia, it might work for you. Because it's written in first person plural, the narration takes some getting used to. The novel follows the 1989 Danvers field hockey team as the girls perform a witchy ritual in order to guarantee a winning season for their senior year. While they win on the field, the players experience the trials of nearing adulthood, like exploring their identities, dealing with family drama, and combatting rumors at school. The ending comes as a delightful surprise and strikes an empowering tone. Though the characters are teenagers, this not a YA novel.
From the author of the widely acclaimed She Weeps Each Time You’re Born comes a new novel, at once comic and moving. Set in the coastal town of Danvers, Massachusetts (which in 1692 was Salem Village, site of the origins of the Salem Witch Trials), it follows the Danvers High field hockey team as they discover that the dark impulses of their Salem forebears may be the key to a winning season.
In this tour de female force, the 1989 Danvers Falcons are on an unaccountable winning streak. In chapters dense with ’80s iconography–from Heathers to Big Hair–Quan Barry expertly weaves together the individual and collective journeys of this enchanted team as they storm their way to the state championship. Helmed by good-girl captain Abby Putnam (a descendant of the infamous Salem accuser Ann Putnam) and her co-captain Jen Fiorenza, whose bleached blond “Claw” sees and knows all, the DHS Falcons prove to be as wily and original as their North of Boston ancestors, flaunting society’s stale notions of femininity in order to find their glorious true selves through the crucible of team sport.