Title: Home Field
Author: Hannah Gersen
Publisher: William Morrow
Publish Date: July 26, 2016
Source: TLC Books
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "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.
eleven-year old son Robbie is acting withdrawn, and running away from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."
My Two Cents:
I grew up in the county over from where "Home Field" takes place and I started high school in 1999 so I was excited to get a look at a world I knew through this book. Aside from the familiar setting, this book has a really good family drama at its center. Dean is his small town's football coach. His wife was the beauty queen. They have two kids that seem like they're on their way to success. It was an all-American story until Dean's life and the life of his kids is shattered when his wife commits suicide. Each person will have to find their own way to pick up the pieces.
The story mostly focuses on Dean and his daughter, Stephanie, who is desperate to get away from her small town for Swarthmore. I loved the way the author divided the book between these two. Dean is trying so hard not to show what a hard time he is having with his wife's death. I really liked how the author was able to get inside his head and show a really fascinating character that has more going on inside than he would ever admit. I also really liked Stephanie's character in the book. She is on the cusp of being an adult but has so much turmoil rolling through her due to her mother's death.
This is a family that I will be thinking about for a long time. I really felt close to them throughout the book. The author really captures realistic emotions throughout the book so that the characters felt like real people to me!