I don’t gush much in my writing. This is one of the best books I have ever read. How’s that for gushing? I am well read, several books a week for 60 years or so. That doesn’t make me an expert or a critic, I just “calls them the way I see them”. This book isn’t about ponies, or Montana and it isn’t just a “feel good” book that was disparagingly ascribed to it in one review. It is a book about the indomitable, unquenchable human spirit and revolves around a tiny, down on it’s luck, in the middle of nowhere small town and it’s basketball team.
The author has successfully captured the feelings and motivations of a small town. I grew up in a small town and it was way bigger than Willow Creek, the town in the book. I taught school in a small, impoverished coal town, similar in size to Willow Creek. Growing up in Western Pennsylvania, I saw the impact that sports had on out of work steel workers and their often frustrating lives. I suspect my own history has honed the poiguient aspects of this books impact.
People need to have faith and hope, sometimes athletics can provide both. The characters in this book all had their own very personal pain and showed how depending on others can free one to be strong and independent as a result.
I highly recommend the book and strongly suggest that if you have any feelings for the underdog you DO NOT want to miss reading this book.
Body of work of Stanley Gordon West