Don’t let the picture fool you, this is not just a book about baseball! This is a story about forgiveness, life choices, marriage, self discovery, and yes, baseball. It also has a glimpse of betrayal, and probably not the way you would think. Double Header is the first published novel by Clarice G. James, and I think she’s written a beautiful story.
Casey Gallagher is a woman who has idolized her father her entire life. So much in fact that she has a “shrine” in her home in honor of her father. I could only imagine how this made her husband Sam feel. While Sam was in the same line of work – police – he could never live up to her father throughout their marriage. Now, do not get the wrong impression, they do not have a bad marriage. But you get glimpses of how Sam must feel like second best to Casey, especially since her father passed away a few years ago.
Imagine idolizing someone like this, and then learning a terrible secret about them. Your whole world comes crashing down. Casey receives a note, and so I do not spoil the surprise, has learned something horrible about her father’s past. At first, you see her wrestle with denial versus truth. How could someone so perfect have done this to her and her family? I enjoyed watching Casey go through so many different emotions, including deciding whether or not she should tell her mother and brother.
Did I mention this book is about baseball too? Casey and her brother, in addition to their regular careers, write a successful sports column together. When Casey’s brother and wife are starting a family, the sports column may have to take a bake seat. This forces Casey to look at her own life, marriage, career, and determine what she wants out of the world. I could certainly empathize with Casey during this situation and can see a little bit of myself in her. I have a job that I love, however it may not be my dream. I find myself toying with thoughts of leaving to pursue my dream, but practicality hits me in the face and I find myself staying status quo. It was such an inspiration to watch Casey come to her decision, and learn to lean on her husband, as well as listen to his ideas. I think Casey struggles with being in control, and when it escaped her we saw this new side of her open up that I think readers will enjoy.
This book has a little something for everyone, as I mentioned before. I encourage you to try this first novel by Clarice. I am anxious to see what comes next for Clarice in her writing journey!