The Call: A Baseball Novel Kindle Edition
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"When I picked up The Call: A Baseball Novel, the last thing I expected was to meet a female protagonist, and I must say that she is so well developed and the story so original and deeply moving that I couldn't put it down. ... The themes of family, sports, friendship, and personal development stand out in the narrative, and the plot twists are a great seasoning to an already interesting story. Great writing, an impeccable narrative and exciting dialogues." -- Readers Favorite
About the Author
- Publication Date : September 1, 2017
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print Length : 320 pages
- Language: : English
- File Size : 3139 KB
- ASIN : B074KS2BZ8
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Simultaneous Device Usage : Unlimited
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #507,430 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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And I don’t say that blithely. As an avid reader of fiction, I find that far too many books cover the same well-tread ground in terms of what their protagonists do, what their goals and aspirations are; what drives them and what holds their attention. This book ventured into refreshing territory on all counts and I, for one, was appreciative.
This is the story of 20-year-old Margie Oblonsky, the twin sister of Tim, an up-and-coming baseball pitcher, and the daughter of a well-respected league umpire and his beleaguered baseball “widow,” who endured the push and pull of building family life around big league baseball. The sport is in their blood and despite her age and gender, Margie is determined to break barriers, and whatever ceilings get in her way, to pursue her dream of being a league umpire herself. This is the 80s, long before #MeToo and Twitter and open discussions of where women fit in the big picture in certain “male” professions, and Margie’s journey is a cold-water dip into some decidedly harsh realities.
I’ve read Laurie Boris’s work in the past (a big fan of her book Sliding Past Vertical) and not only enjoy her facility with words and plot, but her skill at setting time, place, and tone. In The Call, she puts her story in an earlier era, the 1980s, but for whatever reason, it actually read a little older than that to me. The old-fashioned sensibilities of some of the characterizations and relationships felt of a time even earlier than the 80s, but perhaps that has more to do with my lack of knowledge of the industry than anything else. But this is, truly, a small criticism to the overall.
And frankly, that “old-fashionedness” offered sharp juxtaposition to the story’s interwoven issues of corruption, workplace harassment, and blatant sexism, none of which Boris soft-pedals. The sharp edges of those offensive behaviors felt all the more grating given the almost sepia-tone of the unfolding narrative and the feistiness of the main character. One could only admire the resilience of a woman so young enduring and persisting in the face of vile, aggressive behavior from men who simply did not want her anywhere near their game.
That, in fact, is one of the most successful elements of the story: the page-turning plot line involving doping, corruption, and potential threats of violence against Margie for simply doing her job right. It had me guessing throughout.
And, beyond a really good story with some richly drawn characters, you’ll probably learn more about baseball reading this book than you’d even expect from Sports Illustrated! Personally, I love being immersed in professions, industries, and locations with which I’ve had little exposure prior, so enjoyed the arcane and clearly well researched foundation for the book.
A great read… a strong recommend.
This story is about twins who grew up loving baseball. Both had talents which should have easily propelled them to the major leagues. But gender bias in Margie's case and self-doubt in Tim's create a relatable tension in this well-written story about a professional umpire who happens to be a girl and a talented young pitcher prone to the yips and perhaps predisposed to addiction is both entertaining and thought-provoking. I enjoyed it for its nostalgic themes, sense of social justice but perhaps most of all because of its relatable characters.
We've all know a Marge. At least, if we are lucky. A woman who is perhaps stronger than any of the men around her and certainly braver. In my case, it was a girl named Dorothy, who could best most anyone of us on the diamond, on a basketball court, and definitely in the classroom. She was adorable, funny, and wicked good at hitting. Another was my mom who raised me pretty much on her own and taught me how to hit a curve.