Review by KT Sullivan
Brenda Haversham is a forty year old divorced mother of two sons, Andy and Jon. Her ex-husband, Ed, has disappointed the boys again by blowing off a visit. Her father taught her to throw a fast ball and she takes the boys to the park. They are surprised by her hidden talent. When the boys go to practice, they mention it to their little league coach. Brenda imagines Ed’s face on the catcher’s mitt, pitches, and is clocked at eighty two miles per hour. Also video is uploaded of her. She doesn’t realize she’s about to go viral.
She had been a graphic designer, but after twelve years out of the workforce, she’s a data entry operator at an insurance company. A reporter at ESPN, Charlie Bannister, sees the video and talks about her. Now, Major League Baseball takes notice and offers her a shot to play for the Cleveland Indians. She will be the second oldest rookie to play in the MLB, the oldest was Satchel Paige. He is a standard of excellence, regardless of his age. She’s met with hostility, protesters, and harassment from her teammates. Does she have the talent and stamina to play or is she part of a publicity stint?
This story needs a major stretch of the reader’s imagination to work. Even a forty year old man would face incredible obstacles to play professional baseball. Following dreams and reaching the pinnacle are uplifting themes, but need a dose of reality. Many references are made to iconic baseball movies: Field of Dreams, Bull Durham, and The Natural. All are excellent stories that address age and second chances in life.
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About the Author:
Susan Petrone grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, and although she`s moved away a couple of times (Annapolis, MD, and Alkmaar, The Netherlands), she lives there still. Her short fiction has been published by Glimmer Train, Featherproof Books, Muse, Conclave, and Whiskey Island. Her first novel, A Body at Rest, was published in 2009 by Drinian Press. Her second novel, Throw Like a Woman, is due out in March 2015 from The Story Plant. Her short story, "Monster Jones Wants to Creep You Out" (Conclave, 2010) was nominated for a 2011 Pushcart Prize. Her plays have had performances and/or readings at the Cleveland Playhouse, The Lamb`s Club (New York, New York), St. Johns College (Annapolis, Maryland), and several smaller non-Equity houses in Cleveland, Ohio. She co-authors the Cleveland Indians blog (ItsPronouncedLajaway.com) for ESPN.com`s SweetSpot network. On the non-fiction side, Susan`s work has appeared on CoolCleveland.com and ESPN.com. She holds a master`s degree in English with a concentration in Creative Writing from Cleveland State University and lives with one husband, one daughter, and far too many dogs in a little house near some medium-sized woods.
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