Don’t ignore this book because of the cover! I really dislike the cover, but the book is much better than the cover indicates.
The year is 1905. Ellie Jane, sheriff’s daughter, is put upon to host Chicago Cubs star Duke Dennison as he completes his rehabilitation post treatment for alcoholism. Convenient for his progress, Picksville, Missouri is a dry town. Oh. Duke is also an habitual womanizer. Ned, who’s had his eye on Ellie Jane since he returned from the school for the deaf six years ago but still hasn’t summoned the courage to speak to her, is the town’s biggest baseball fan and recognized the Duke immediately. Duke’s stay in Picksville gets a little more interesting when the town errand boy, Morris, delivers a package to him and Duke learns Morris has a vastly talented arm.
This book sports (Ha! pun!) a recovering drunk, a love triangle, a dry (small) town, the Chicago Cubs, a deaf man, some racial tension, and men drooling over cars.
Chapters are written from the view points of the various characters — Ellie Jane, Duke, Morris, Ned. Chapters are divided up into nine parts. I thought this was just subtle enough to be clever.
Pittman’s voice is compelling, and the story is good.
I was disappointed by how drastically the depiction of one character changed at a crucial point. It felt like a cop out. Like the story needed to get there, but it didn’t quite make it, so the author cheated by giving it a push.
Overall, I enjoyed the descriptions of communication generally, and of certain signs in particular.
Other thoughts: Was that strong of foreshadowing intentional? Typographical foreshadowing is annoying, particularly when it’s more evident than any foreshadowing crafted by the writer. Make the writing tell the story.
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Don’t forget about my giveaway of Saints in Limbo! Have you entered yet?