My memories of high school football games and all the emotions they invoke are great. And I love underdog stories, especially when it comes to women and World War II. So when I heard of "When the Men Were Gone," I knew it was something I want to read (hear), and in fact I bought it right away, then I allowed it to sit in my audio queue.
I shouldn't have done that and I'd like to save you from making that mistake, too. Because sportswriter Majorie Herrera Lewis's new little book is a gem and a real touchdown.
Based on a true story, the book drops you right into a bad situation for Tylene Wilson, a vice principal at the high school in Brownwood. Due to the war, the football team is in need of a coach and if she fails to find one Tylene knows her senior boys may be tempted to quit school and enlist. While Tylene is as patriotic as any American, she knows that war is no place for a high school aged boy.
The fact is, football is something that Tylene has always shared with her father. And not just the game itself, but the intricacies of it. So it's a wonder that Tylene doesn't realize from the beginning that she could be the coach. Of course, when her husband points that out to her, Tylene is the first to balk. She's a woman! She'd never be accepted as a coach on the field. And we all know what will happen if/when she dares step into those shoes.
What ensues is a great book, a great Texas football story, a great women/leadership story. So far this is the book this year I want to hand out to all my friends and say: read this. Also, Marjoie Herrera Lewis has such a deft touch with football she made me want to learn a little bit more about the intricacies of the game. (Ya'll please don't tell my husband that. Maybe I'll just memorize me some of Tylene's quotes and impress the socks off of him.)
So don't do what I did. Go ahead and buy the book and read it, right now. And enter the giveaway so that you can spread the wealth.
Thank you to the author and publisher for a copy of the book for an honest review. Yes, I read the copy between listening to my purchased copy because I needed to know what was going to happen more quickly than I could with a typical audible listen. Can't wait for this author's next book.