Horses, Hockey, & Haloes

8 April 2009

Horses, Hockey and Haloes
by Lori Kohlman
Review by Karen Lawson
$19.95 ISBN 9780981082608

The novel Horses, Hockey and Haloes takes the reader on a journey of discovery. Author Lori Kohlman approaches the subject of autism with sensitivity and respect. Her purpose in writing this book is to give the reader an opportunity to learn and understand more about Autism. It is obvious that she has done a great deal of research about this disorder as she tackles the subject in a knowledgeable and informed way. Autism is a neurological condition that causes developmental disabilities. It results in delayed and underdeveloped communication skills and social interactions. Autism is more common in boys and usually becomes apparent before the child is three years old.

This story is set in the fictional town of Prairie Pass SK. The author situates her story here in order to show that Autism can touch the lives of any family, no matter where they live. Horses, Hockey and Haloes revolves around a rancher and his family. Sam Duncan is struggling as a single parent to raise his two children. Rebecca is thirteen years old and J. J. is his eight year old autistic son. He is faced with the challenges of trying to run a successful ranch while coping with the issues of a pubescent daughter and the special needs of his autistic son. His domineering mother, Ruth, throws another curve into the family dynamics.

A special education teacher, Eve Ashton, who has a past history with Sam, soon becomes involved with the family. She plays a valuable role as she tries to support Sam and Rebecca and work with J.J.’s unique situation. Eve understands J.J. as no one else ever has and soon becomes very attached to him as well as the rest of the family. Her own personal connection to children with special needs helps her to relate to J. J. and she becomes an integral part of his educational growth. At first skeptical, Sam soon realizes that Eve has J.J.’s best interests at heart and he appreciates her dedication to the development of his son. Before long, a relationship develops between Sam and Eve that changes the course of both their lives.

This gentle story will touch the heart of anyone who has been affected by Autism but more importantly, it will inspire and inform anyone who wants to learn more about this condition.


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