Thanks to Grady Harp for the review of Gil. I’ve included a link here to his website.
Also, I’ve posted below the review on Amazon.
Sports novels, or novels about sport topics or particular sport heroes, have found an affinity with a large audience: witness the number of sports novels that have been transformed into films, such as Field of Dreams etc. But that makes Darin’s book one that will appeal to many readers uninvolved with sports is his core story about choices – life-altering moments that offer opportunity and possible tragedy and how we deal with those moments or transitions.
Darin’s synopsis hold the story tightly – ‘GIL tells the story of a high school coach who miraculously discovers that he can pitch with deadly accuracy and speed. Gil is offered a contract as a replacement player for the Colorado Rockies during a baseball strike. As the season progresses, Gil discovers that his unexpected gift is the result of a rare disease, and continuing to pitch may hasten his own death. Gil must decide what price he is willing to pay to live his dream.’ Gil’s ‘gift’ is one that the reader must discover, so sensitively described and developed as it is.
The publisher’s summary is a bit more broad – ‘Twenty years before, high school coach Gil Gilbert gave up his dream to play professional baseball so he could marry his pregnant girlfriend, Keri. When he miraculously discovers that he can pitch with deadly accuracy and speed, he must choose between his successful career and comfortable family life or his chance to play with the Colorado Rockies during a player’s strike. Gil stuns the pitching staff with 100 mph fastballs and is offered a contract. After joining the Rockies, the world soon learns that Gil is a supernatural phenomenon and the Rockies keep winning. But Gil soon faces stiff opposition, including a frivolous lawsuit, a father who feels his son’s calling to pitch is to save souls, and threats from the striking players. As the season progresses, Gil discovers that his unexpected gift is the result of a rare disease, and continuing to pitch may hasten his own death. While Keri supports his decision to keep playing, she is fearful about her husband’s bizarre health condition.’
Strong character development, very sensitive writing about delicate topics, and a gift for magnetizing the reader’s attention are but a few of the aspects of this book that make it so fine. Grady Harp, October 16