I was raised in the area (SW Washington state) the book is set in, and in the religion (Seventh Day Adventist) that is featured prominently in the book, so I was really curious as to how this book would pan out. It's a bit of a long read, but hang in there. I found it to be engrossing, and challenging.
The book centers on the Chance family which includes Mama, Papa and 6 children. It is told from the perspective from several of the various children and take place mainly in the 60's and 70's. It may drag a bit if you don't like baseball as Papa Chance is an aspiring baseball pitcher and all the kids learn to live and breathe baseball. But it is so much more than a baseball story.
It's a story about various family crises, and ultimately the staying power of love. But don't get me wrong it's not sentimental schlock. Give it a try, I don't think you'll be disappointed.
This is among the top five books on my favourites list. It is a genius study of family and post-war America over the course of about thirty years that has at its core baseball, religion, baseball as a religion, literature, war and peace. A friend gave me my copy of this book and said, "if ever a book was written specifically for you, this is it." She couldn't have been more right. It has by far the funniest passage about Sunday school I've ever read. I can't begin to explain, but it involves felt angels, Swedes and beatniks. Overall, Duncan's understanding of and ability to write both about the humourous and heartbreaking aspects of life and familial relations makes this book well worth reading.
"Joy to the Wordl! The Saviour Resigns!"
Captivating story that takes you in and builds as it goes along. 643 pages and it moves very fast.