Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Review: The Call by Laurie Boris

Genre: Women’s Fiction/Sports Fiction


“As one of the first female umpires in the minors, Margie puts up with insults and worse from people who think women don’t belong in baseball. Forget making history—Margie just wants to do her job and be part of the game she loves.

She’s ready for the rude comments. The lousy pay. The endless traveling. But when she suspects a big-name slugger of cheating, she has to choose: let the dirty player get away with it, or blow the whistle and risk her career…and maybe her twin brother’s major-league prospects, too.

Now it’s up to Margie to make the call.”


“Laurie Boris has been writing fiction for over twenty-five years and is the award-winning author of seven novels. When not playing with the universe of imaginary people in her head, she’s a freelance copyeditor and enjoys baseball, reading, and avoiding housework. She lives in New York’s lovely Hudson Valley.”


For me this was a great read for many different reasons. Some of those reasons might be things that would apply to you too.

The main appeal is that this is a good story. The struggle to be as good as you can be at your chosen profession, the difficulties that sometimes complicate that, and figuring out how to deal with it, is something many of us can empathize with. I’ve also read a couple things lately that talked about how fiction can help us better understand the lives of people not like us, and this was good for me to imagine the challenges of being a woman in a male-dominated profession. I suspect men and women are going to benefit from reading this kind of tale in different ways, but benefit regardless.

I’m not a big sports fan, but I’m sure those who are will enjoy the baseball part of the story. As someone who came of age about the same time as the characters in this story (late 70s) I found myself experiencing a bit of nostalgia that the typical reader wouldn’t. (But I refuse to call this historical fiction for you young’uns.) All in all, a good read, even for those who would typically stay away from women’s fiction or sports fiction.

I was also curious as to the status of female umpires in the major and minor leagues. How credible was this? What I found is that the first woman to work as an umpire in the minor leagues of professional baseball did so in 1972, so the story could have happened as indicated. But 45 years later it looks like women umpires are still a rarity with the first woman to work in the major leagues not doing so until 2007 and very few that work in professional baseball at any level. Maybe the difficulties Margie experiences are more contemporary than I thought.

Buy now from:            Amazon US        Amazon UK


Uses some adult language.

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues.

Rating: ***** Five Stars

Reviewed by: BigAl

Approximate word count: 95-100,000 words


Laurie Boris said...

Thank you so much for the review! To add to the umpire discussion, 2017 marked the first season in which there were two female umpires in the minor leagues. There is hope for the future.

BooksAndPals said...

That's excellent to hear, Laurie, but also changing way too slowly.

Karen Wojcik Berner said...

A new Laurie Boris novel? Awesome! Can't wait to read it. She is one of the best.