Friday, July 25, 2008

just a hint of a ghost

Past the Bleachers by Chris Bohjalian
Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)
Genre: fiction
Summary/Review: Bohjalian takes the story of a father grieving over the death of a son and wraps it around hints of a ghost story. About a year after his son's death, Bill Parrish decides that coaching the local Little League team for which his son would have played will help him cope with the loss. When he gets the roster for his team, he notices a name, Lucky Diamond, that he's never heard before, unusual in his small Vermont town. A natural at baseball, Lucky should fit in well on the team. But the mystery surrounding him and his arrival deepen, and Bohjalian adds a few seemingly supernatural occurrences (strange cat behavior and the like) to a few odd and vaguely threatening coincidences (a boy who makes mean comments about Lucky is almost killed by a flying baseball bat) and Bill (and the reader) question who Lucky really is and what he's doing there. While the answer to those questions isn't overly satisfying (although it's reasonable enough) the resolution to the story is immensely gratifying.

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