Sam Pickett never expected to settle in this dried-up shell of a town on the western edge of the world. He’s come here to hide from the violence and madness that have shattered his life, but what he finds is what he least expects. It seems that every inhabitant of this forgotten outpost has a story, a reason for taking a detour to this place—or a reason for staying.
As the coach of the hapless high-school basketball team, Sam can’t help but be moved by the bravery he witnesses in the everyday lives of people—including his own young players—bearing their sorrows and broken dreams. How do they carry on, believing in a future that seems to be based on the flimsiest of promises? Drawing on the strength of the boys on the team, sharing the hope they display despite insurmountable odds, Sam finally begins to see a future worth living.
Author Stanley Gordon West has filled the town of Willow Creek with characters so vividly cast that they become as real as relatives, and their stories—so full of humor and passion, loss, and determination—illuminate a path into the human heart.
©2011 Stanley Gordon West (P)2011 HighBridge Company
Love a great book that stays with you long after you've finished it.
The high school basketball team hasn't won a game in years. Town moral is down, school moral is down. A couple new students arrive at the high school, a tiny flicker of hope ignites. More then just basketball, the town has drawn people running away from past experiences. A good listen, feel good book with more going then just at the surface. Well narrated, well written. NOTE: I DISLIKE BASKETBALL, BUT ENJOYED THIS BOOK.
Like many stories this could have been just as good without the complete bedroom scenes. Could have recommended to younger readers if this was left out. It would have not changed the story.
Is the story too good to be true? Maybe. But it held my interest for 19 hours. Heart warming? Yes. Alittle corny? Yes. If you're looking for a feel-good story, like Hoosiers, this is it.
I never thought I could love a book about basketball but I got so emotional about every game it brought me back to my days of keeping score for the team in my tiny high school. The author did such an amazing job of fleshing out all the characters in the story it really made you care about how their lives would turn out. There were so many side stories that they kept the time in the ball court from overwhelming me. I would love to think that this all happened just the way the author tells it.
Love love love this book listen to it well we were driving did not want to stop. We even brought it into the motel room to listen to it. It is so good! After finishing it I started it over and listened to it with my mom. Great story
My hometown was Epping ND and they had a losing streak of over 90 games lost in Class B boys basketball in the 1960's. They went on to take second place in the state tournament in 1976 so I identified with this very small town and a team with no bench and the fact that boys basketball is king in these small towns. The narrator was a bit irritating at first but I grew to like him. Loved this story of life in a small town and how people rally to support the under-dogs. This story was fairly predictable but a good read to pass the time as I have been in the car a lot lately. I would definitely recommend it.
Readers who have grown up in small towns will really identify with the story of this hapless, demoralized high school basketball team -- a reflection of the community as a whole. Each character in the story is well drawn and positioned to advance a more complex story than "small team triumphs over odds." Basketball fans will appreciate the strategies used by the coach to keep the team (or remnants of it) on the court and in the game. Fans of interpersonal/family dynamics will appreciate the back-stories of pivotal characters. The only thing that didn't fit for me was the title, which to me is gruesome, even if it is only a metaphor for some of the tensions in the book.
This story needed a good editor. Predictable story line filled with cliches.
Would have been an ok book for our basketball-loving son, but the sexual scenes prohibited that.
Wonderful wand well told story.
Felt like I was there watching from the sideline not just the games but all the story.
As a coach it's it's nice to see victory where thee never is.
Wish we would have had the lives of the characters after the victory. Grandma death, what did Peter do? Sam and Diane, fate of the restaurant, money under the bed? You know all the loose ends.
I've been to Montana and I've been to Willow Creek and Three Forks - because the railway runs through it and I've operated my speeder on that piece of rail. It was wonderful to imagine this story in that spectacular setting. I could well imagine the cast of characters SG West presents and the way a community would rise above their many differences and grow together towards a more confident citizenry. Sports was the vehicle but it was not the story. The story for me was about the power of unconditional love and how the right words at the right time can change the storyline of a person's life and a community's well-being.
"Pat Controy of Montana"
The blurb at the side of this audiobook is vague and
I'm here to tell you that it's a FAB, heartwarming
tale, of small town Americana and cheering for the
With a school of eighteen students, there is always
great difficulty trying to man a basketball team; so
when a foreign exchange student of 6'11 arrives, the
town makes it their mission to teach him basketball
and lift their spirits. We follow the gutsy boys and
their teachers/mentors on their journey as they deal
with growing up and just plain living.
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