John Grisham is my favorite fiction author. I've read every book he's written, and usually the read takes less than two days.
Grisham's latest book, Calico Joe, departs from his normal lawyer-suspense genre, and explores the world of professional baseball, combined with a complex, abusive father-son relationship (or non-relationship might be a better description.)
Calico Joe Castle is a rookie with the Chicago Cubs who dazzles fans, teammates, and opponents alike with a hitting streak for the record books -- until a tragic incident ends his stellar career.
The story is told through the eyes of Paul Tracey, son of hard-throwing, hard-living New York Mets pitcher, Warren Tracey. The elder Tracey proves less than heroic by all accounts, especially at home -- while his son longs desperately for his father's affection and positive attention. Calico Joe becomes the hero Paul Tracey could never find in his dad.
Warren's violence against his son ultimately leads to divorce and alienation.
After years of estrangement, Paul receives word of his father's facing his father's mortality, forces his father to face the painful truth.
The story is riveting and profound, drawing the reader into significant introspection regarding family relationships and truth avoidance.
A powerful read, especially for dads -- and a trip down memory lane for those who remember 1970's baseball.