I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by NetGalley. I was not compensated for this review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.Steal Away Home by Billy Coffey
Published by Thomas Nelson on 2018
"This is a powerful story of grief, love, forgiveness, and holy mystery, and I loved it. Billy Coffey is a master storyteller." --Lauren Denton, USA Today bestselling author of The Hideaway
Owen Cross grew up with two loves: one a game, the other a girl. One of his loves ruined him. Now he's counting on the other to save him.
Owen Cross's father is a hard man, proud in his brokenness, who wants nothing more than for Owen to succeed where he failed. With his innate talents and his father's firm hand guiding him, Owen goes to college with dreams of the major leagues--and an emptiness full of a girl named Micky Dullahan.
Owen loved Micky from the first time they met on the hill between their two worlds: his middle-class home and her troubled Shantytown. Years later he leaves her for the dugouts and the autographs, but their days together follow him. When he finally returns home, he discovers that even peace comes at a cost. And that the hardest things to say are to the ones we love the most.
From bestselling author Billy Coffey comes a haunting story of small-town love, blinding ambition, and the risk of giving it all for one last chance.
"In one evening, a single baseball game, Coffey invites us into a lifetime. With lyrical prose and aching description we join Owen Cross on a journey of love, loss, faith, the unexpected--and America's favorite pastime." --Katherine Reay, author of Dear Mr. Knightley and The Austen Escape
Before you remind me that I don’t like sporty things and of course I wouldn’t care for a book centered around baseball I have to tell you. Baseball is what saved this book for me. Yes, I don’t do sports. I don’t mind going to a stadium and watching a game. I don’t understand the game or really even care about the game but there’s something about the energy and spirit (if you will) about a crowd come together for something they are passionate about. And cuties. You are NEVER too old to appreciate cuties. That goes for almost any sport, almost. You will never see me curling up on the sofa to watch a sporty thing on TV, outside maybe like figure skating or gymnastics. Oh and diving, I really like platform diving. I picked up this book with the idea of a coming of age story between a love of baseball and a childhood sweetheart. I picked up this book thinking it was about leaving the game to come home and try to make things right. I didn’t get one whit of that.
I got a lot of baseball. A whole game intermingled with these weird random flashbacks to one summer a decade or so ago. The intermingling of here and now didn’t begin to make sense. Not only were they awkward and cut deeply into any flow the story could have developed I kept wandering where his head was. If you are in a big league, major league sorry to the ballers out there, game then why aren’t you focused on the game? Why aren’t you thinking about the game? Why aren’t you wondering if you will get your shot on the turf? That alone was awkward for me but then the back story didn’t even go with the game at all. Nothing made sense!
I didn’t get a feel for the characters. I got some interesting information about some name dropped players (I think they might be real players? I’ll have to ask Daddy). I got some interesting information about the logistics of baseball like the size of home plate and the dimensions of the infield. All things I didn’t know. But I have no idea what really happened with Micky. Throughout the story, at the train, or even at her end. I haven’t the faintest idea why Owen went back to the hill. I didn’t understand his motivation for a lot of things. This book left things so oddly open that I’m not sure if he was like an old dog going home to die on the hill or to commit suicide or just to live there under the tree in seclusion. There was not one bit of connection for me with this story. I desperately wanted there to be, the synopsis was so deeply intriguing. The truth is, baseball saved this book for me. And if that ain’t an oxymoron I don’t know what is.