4.5 out of 5 Stars
I would like to thank Kristofor Hellmeister for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Ryan hated the move. He hated being uprooted from his home in New York to the rural outskirts of Nashville, Tennessee. But, little did he know of what was in store for him as he becomes wrapped up in two worlds, and in two conflicts. After touching a baseball bat found in the attic of his new home, the Belle Meade Plantation, Ryan is transported back in time to the Civil War. It is here he takes part in a baseball game between Union and Confederate soldiers on the eve of the Battle of Nashville. Entangled in two timelines, his own and the life of a soldier, Ryan tries desperately to solve the mysteries in his life. It would a summer unlike any other. A summer of baseball. A summer of brotherhood. A summer of change. A summer of war.
He hated this war!
And he hated the Northerners for starting it. For taking him away from his home, from peace. For tearing down everything the game had built.
It was this hatred which brought him to his feet and leveled his musket at the nearest blue coat. The man turned to face him and for a moment their eyes met.
The soldier recognized the man. It was someone he knew. Someone he had laughed with, and sweat alongside.
His finger touched cold metal.
The memory of the game and who the man was gone with the wind. The rage burning through him had turned everything to ash.
The bullet hit the Northerner in the chest.
Red fell upon the blue.
The man’s face lit up with mixture of shock and surprise. He crumbled slowly and every detail imprinted itself in the man’s mind. He saw the agony, the feeble attempt to stop the blood, and finally the shudder of death which moved through the blue coat’s body.
As the man died, so did the rage within the soldier. He felt cold as he realized what he had done. He had abandoned himself. He had turned his back on what the game stood for and overturned what it had created.
He had shattered it with a single bullet.
Wow….. I probably shouldn’t be writing this review so soon after finishing this novel, but I wanted to keep the feels fresh….AND, OH THE FEELS!!! I am a big fan of historical fiction but, I didn’t know what I would think of historical fiction with a Baseball theme (although, I DO love Baseball!). I can now say that I REGRET NOTHING!! I could feel the passion in Kristofor’s writing throughout this story. You can really tell when someone is writing about topics that come from their soul, and this book definitely gave me that feeling.
This novel was equal parts “Sandlot”, “Stand by Me”, and “Gone With the Wind” …O.k, it was more “Saving Private Ryan” but I didn’t want everyone pointing out that that’s the wrong war!
It was an amazing story of the bonds of friendship, the hardships of starting over, and the perils of war. Ryan moves to a new town when his dad is asked to manage the opening of a store there, which means starting fresh. This is not easy for a teen-aged boy and he is quickly thrown into sights of the town bully and recruited by the town misfits. This cast of characters is so wonderful and vibrant you can’t help but fall in love with the whole misfit gang: Rock, Cheese, Spunk, Wiley, Oreo, Ash, Clapton, Herc and Trouble. Just their nicknames alone brought me back to the 80s and early 90s!
There was such a wonderful message within this novel about the bonds of friendship,
“Derek flinched, but stood his ground and felt ready to take a deserving hit in the jaw. Surprisingly, Spunk did not strike him, but he held his menacing stature as he lifted an accusing finger and spoke. “You listen to me, Derek,” he said through gritted teeth. “You throw out the word brother and family as if you think we don’t know what they mean—as if we hadn’t a clue about the power in those words.” Everyone was listening. The fear and tension and disbelief could be cut with the wind.
“Let me ask you something, Derek. Do you honestly know what those two things mean? Do you have any idea what it means to us? Us who are all part of the bond which holds us together. Or do you just like to say them because they make you feel less alone?””
the importance of family and the brutality of war and anger. This book will make you realize that clinging to anger doesn’t solve anything, only by letting go of that anger can we really be free and move on.
““This is where all our tensions were dropped… Where all of our barriers, formed by conflictin’ views and selfishness, were let go. This is a place where we regained everythin’ the war had took from us. A place of peace. Of happiness. Of sanity. Where men stopped being men and became boys again. Where we stopped being so bitter and started enjoying the life given to us.””
Any lover of Any of the above things that I mentioned “Sandlot”, “Stand by Me”, “Saving Private Ryan” or if you just want an amazing story with history and feeling behind it, you’ve found your next book!
Pick Up Your Copy Here:
Brothers of Baseball is Best Served with
a Mickey Mantle
- 2oz Brandy
- 1oz Cream
- 1oz Kahlua
- Fill an old fashioned glass with ice
- Pour in Brandy
- Add Cream
- Top with Kahlua
- Stir before drinking