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.
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.
Should be a group study book in Jr. High or read out loud in the class room. Very captivating! I enjoyed it very much, dug deep and never give up!
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.
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.
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.
One of the better books I've "read".
Nice performance of many different voices.
Pete - scrappy.
"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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