The heart of Friday Night Lights meets the emotional resonance and nostalgia of My So-Called Life in this utterly moving debut novel about tradition, family, love, and football.
As the high school football coach in his small, rural Maryland town, Dean is a hero who reorganized the athletic program and brought the state championship to the community. When he married Nicole—the beloved, town sweetheart—he seemed to have it all—until his troubled wife committed suicide. Now, everything Dean thought he knew about his life and the people in it is thrown off kilter as Nicole’s death forces him to re-evaluate all of his relationships, including those with his team and his three children.
Dean’s eleven-year old son Robbie is acting withdrawn, and running away from school to the local pizza parlor. Bry, who is only eight, is struggling to understand his mother’s untimely death. And nineteen-year- old Stephanie has just left for Swarthmore and is torn between her new identity as a rebellious and sophisticated college student, her responsibility towards her brothers, and feeling like she is still just a little girl who misses her mom. As Dean struggles to continue to lead his team to victory in light of his overwhelming personal loss, he must fix his fractured family—and himself. And what he discovers along the way is that he’ll never view the world in the same way again.
Transporting you to the heart of small town America, Home Field is an unforgettable, poignant story about the pull of the past and the power of forgiveness.
Home Field is an utterly heart wrenching story about a family in crisis trying desperately to get on with their lives after a tragedy, yet failing each other miserably with each step. What most endeared this novel to me was the quiet unfolding. It picks you up in its initially shocking embrace and then lulls you, unfolding in a way that is so realistic, so easy to imagine, that you instantly feel a part of the characters lives, an inhabitant in their world.
The heart of this novel beats with forgiveness. It examines the many sides to guilt and how debilitating feeling guilty can be. It highlights the need for acceptance when understanding is absent and above all, it proves that time is the greatest healer of all.
There are moments of great pain throughout; yet even so, by the time you reach the end of this beautiful novel, you just know that this family is going to be all right. I look forward to reading more from this author and recommend Home Field highly to all and sundry – even if you weren’t a Friday Night Lights fan, you’ll still love this one!