Monday, November 28, 2011

Broken Laces

    Title Broken Laces
    Author Rodney Walther
    Genra Fiction/Sports Fiction
     Pages 310
     My Average 5.7 pages a day

    Missed the Curveball

Jack Kennedy had everything a man could want, a beautiful wife, a loving child and a promising career, until an accident changes his and his family’s life forever. With the death of his wife, Jack must now figure out how to be both the father and mother for his son, Kellen. With the help of America’s pastime, Jack and Kellen overcome life’s trials and learn to cope with the loss of a wife and mother.

What I liked:
By it’s over dramatized effect on the main characters inability to hit a curveball, the first paragraph shows the importance of baseball to the characters. This is a nice segway into how baseball will affect the lives of the characters to come. Rodney Walther sucks you right into the book after the first page.

Though I can’t say the same for all of the characters, Kellen, the son of the main character, is a well rounded character. Walther portrayed a perfect little boy, appropriate for the age and mental capacity and did a good job developing the character. Even Kellen’s mourning seemed appropriate for the age. I wholeheartedly believed the character’s age.

I also enjoyed learning a little about baseball with the little boy. It was truly evident that Walther did his research on the subject. I felt like I learned a lot about the sport and people of the sport.

What I didn’t like:
Personally, I don’t feel like the book should be classified as a sports novel. Yes, there are some sports references in the book, but baseball doesn’t become prevalent until the final third of the book. The first two thirds I felt like I was struggling with the same inner turmoil without a resolution. Something snaps in the main character about two thirds into the book and he learns how to become a better father and person. I feel that this change happened to suddenly and too late in the book. The father should have started to change and learn at about the first third of the book.

There are some important turning points in the book that are brushed over, whether they are like the contemplated suicide. I felt that this was a major point in the main characters life and should have been a bigger part of the book. The topic is discussed for about a chapter or two, then the main character forgets it ever happened all together. Something as dramatic as contemplated suicide should be shown threw ought the book.

Also, the ending gave too much away. I believed the book should have ended on page 295 or a little earlier. The reader should be put in a position to imagine what happens next. Does the friend become a girlfriend, wife? Are there children? By writing the last chapter, Walther eliminates any wondering the reader may do. I felt this was unnecessary to add a wife at the end of the book to show growth. The main character showed how much he had grown at the end of 295.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a good story about a manwho has to learn how to become a better person and father. It is no Bull Durham, but threw little league, Walther demonstrates the importance of life and family.

Rating: D+

About the author:
Rodney Walther

Rodney Walther is a member of the Houston Writers Guild. As I am also a member of the Houston Writers Guild, Rodney and I have met on numerous occasions. I have even had the pleasure of helping Rodney edit a small (and I mean small) portion of his book, when I first joined the Guild.  

 With more than twenty years as a coach and manager of baseball/softball for youth and adults, Rodney demonstrates his passion for baseball and writing in his debut novel, Broken Laces.

Stay tuned for the next book:
Patricia Briggs
Moon Called

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