Reviewed by: BigAl
Approximate word count: 75-80,000 words
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The titles of Caryn Rose’s novels, B-sides and Broken Hearts and now A Whole New Ballgame reflect her two major interests, music and baseball.
For more, visit Rose’s blog.
“The story of a 20-something woman who finds comfort and solace in baseball as her carefully ordered world starts to unravel.
26-year-old Laurie Nicholson thinks she's beginning to sort things out when it comes to life, work, and love. When a sudden declaration from an on-again, off-again boyfriend inspires her to take a risk, only to meet with crushing heartbreak instead, Laurie finds herself searching for refuge.
A chance encounter with Eric Morris and Peter Ellis, two friends spending their summer visiting every ballpark in America, offers Laurie an unexpected way to salve her wounds. Despite growing up in Boston surrounded by Red Sox fans, she wasn't a fan of the game-until Eric and Peter's enthusiasm turn that around and she falls in love...with baseball.”
If you’re one of those women who isn’t much into sports or at least not baseball, you might be tempted to skip past this book. I’m not much of a sporty guy myself, so I understand. But in skipping it you’ll miss out on a good story that just happens to have baseball as a backdrop. Plus, you’ll find you have more in common with Laurie, the protagonist, than you think. You might not understand some of the references to specific players, but they aren’t important to the story. (I don’t know who they are either.) Maybe you’ll understand the music and band references better. (Those, I got, but they’re also unimportant.)
At its heart, A Whole New Ballgame is a coming of age story. Although Laurie is an adult, living on her own, established in her career, and much more “grown-up” than many of her peers, the struggles she goes through and the lessons she learns take her through the next level of growth. I found myself struggling with her as she faced some tough decisions, upset, when she was, and even gaining a small appreciation of baseball, even if I’m not planning to run out to the ballpark on opening day.
No significant issues.
Rating: **** Four Stars