What a beautiful story! I don't think I've ever read (er, listened to) a novelization before (movie turned into a book), but I really enjoyed Home Run and am going to have to track down the movie now. This is a wonderful story of forgiveness, hope, healing, and redemption. People are definitely used by God in this story, but God is the real hero. And isn't that how it should be?
There were two things about this audio book that I had trouble adjusting to. One, the names of four of the main characters all began with the same hard C/K sound---Cory, Carlos, Karen, and Clay. I had trouble keeping the male names straight for about 1/4 of the book. Two, the book switches back and forth between the present and the past (I believe the past is at the end of each chapter). Because I was listening to the book rather than reading it, it was a little hard to tell the difference at times, which left me confused at each transition for the first half of the book. If that bothers you, stick with reading rather than listening.
All of that aside, I really did enjoy this book and definitely recommend it! It's a great book for all readers. [4 stars]
Cory Brand was born to win baseball. To hit home runs that seemed impossible, to be the hero his father could never be. It was his purpose in life, despite the cruelty of his childhood. Running from his past and spiraling out of control despite his insistence to the contrary, he finally gets the reality check he's had coming for years - and gets suspended from the team. Regrets of the past overshadow him like a dark cloud and frustration with present circumstances keep him from realizing how far he has fallen.
Cory's agent, Helene, has arranged a deal with his team that he will complete an eight week recovery program and get his life back on track. When coaching Little League becomes a part of his very public reformation, he is anxious to get things over and done with.What he doesn't expect is what he finds when he returns home. A woman he loved so much, yet betrayed. A brother and family he never has time for. And a boy who may never know who his father is. Will Cory be able to find redemption for his sins? Will he be able to take the second chance he's been given? Or is it too late for someone like him?
This novelization by Thrasher shows exactly how far you can fall, and how God can lift you back up in spite of yourself. It shows us that no matter what we've done, or how much of our life we have destroyed, there is always grace and redemption for us from the Father. The characters were very real and believable, because while we may not suffer their particular afflictions, we are all in need of saving no matter who we are or what we've done. Thrasher has captured the essence and spirit of those who are in the midst of their struggle, and you come to care for each and every one of the people in the story. It is hard to read in places, but it is realistic and honest. No sugar coating. And because of that, I recommend it to anyone who has survived their addictions, or even if they find themselves in the thick of it.
This book was provided by the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review.
It's not often I give a book a 5 star rating but this was a very real, true to life story. Cory does what many of us do when we are faced with addictions and shortcomings - we place the blame on someone else and refuse to recognize that we are making poor choices. We all need to be restored and redeemed but on the journey we try to fill the emptiness with something else. This book is well written and definitely worth reading. I'll be looking for more books by Travis Thrasher!
As Home Run suggests this is a novel centered around Base Ball, but don't be put off as it is a lovely, comforting tale of God's redemptive power in hard, long lived, desperate situations.
Cory is an alcoholic, out of control, base ball player who is fighting his own demons as he struggles to make sense of the memories of his father's menacing behaviour which was fueled by alcohol and is now being played out in his own life.
'Good old Dad stood there looking at him in horror, his drunken eyes suddenly sobering up and realizing. Then he spoke Cory's name but it was all done.'
The sadness and despair as Cory tries to block out any feelings for his father are captured so well by the author as he describes how Cory repeats the same behaviour like a loop constantly repeated as he plunges into a drunken haze day after day.
This isn't about a sudden light bulb moment as Cory realizes his need for Jesus but cleverly introduces a very successful recovery programme...
I found the details of this 12 step programme intriguing and anything that can help other tortured souls overcome addictions, obsessions and disorders has to be looked into and I intend to find out more.
This was an easy read, no surprises or catching of the breath moments but its simplicity and gentle approach was a gentle balm in the hectic, frenetic world we live in.
Disclaimer: I got a free galley from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review.
This Review first featured in my Blog: Refreshed, Restored & Redeemed.