I had no idea until I read this that women were actually banned from baseball in 1952 by a Ford Frick. What a fricker. ;) I had realized there were no women in MLB and had wondered why and thought it was because of body types/strength, but it's really just men have irrational fears about women. Don't they always?
This is by far the best woman-in-baseball novel I've read and I have attempted to read a few others. It's fun, funny, full of realism, features a heroine every woman can relate to, has a dash of feminism, and even has a moral, though it's a tough one for me to actually put into words. It's about needing to find joy in all you do, replacing negative feelings with positive and not miss a beat. It's about not pre-labeling people or not giving them a chance, especially when it's our ex-husbands...
Mothers will relate as Brenda juggles a traveling career with missing her kids (and sometimes her kids have tantrums). Divorcees will relate as Brenda dukes it out with her ex, about custody, visitation... Women everywhere will relate as Brenda deals with "frickers" who protest at every game, coworkers who leave nasty jockstraps in her locker. Feminists will relate as Brenda becomes the first ever woman in the major leagues and is right proud of it...sometimes...in between jockstraps and traveling and sport bra ads...
People will relate, period, as the life of a baseball player is shown to be not just fun and games, but--gasp!--work!
Truth is I'm having a hard time writing a review for this one. I just really liked it. I think I spent five days reading it and for me, that's pretty good. I usually get impatient after three. And no, it's not too long or even slow. It's just right. I liked the surprised bursts of humor and how Brenda handles everything in the end and what she takes away from it all. I especially just loved a woman in baseball, striking sexist men out as she inwardly cursed at them for the injustices done to women. And yet, she's not OTT, or perfect, or unbelievable. Quite the opposite. This heroine could you..or me. Most of the time, heroines in male-dominated roles are made a bit too hard, or too ridiculous to be real. The author did a superb job here.
If I have a single complaint, it's that the ending is a little vague. I guess I wish the book had been longer. Yea, that's exactly it. Just another chapter or two...
Oh--and there's a really adorable romance, the clean kind. No details.
I wish we really had a Brenda, a lady pitcher in baseball. I think she'd be a terrific role model for all of us--women and girls both.
I received this via Netgalley and I will be watching for more books by this author.
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