Double Header

Double HeaderDouble Header by Clarice James
Genres: Contemporary, Inspirational
Published by Mountainview Books on December 1, 2015
Pages: 312

 

Approaching her thirtieth birthday, Casey Gallagher has a full life. She’s used to planning things out and, so far, things are pretty well going according to schedule. But Casey isn’t a one-dimensional, perfect character. She worries about how to balance her sports writing hobby with her marketing career, how much she and her husband, Sam, need to save to buy their dream home, and when it might be time to start a family. These innermost thoughts bring us closer to Casey and make us care about her as a character.

Casey soon discovers startling news: her late father, whose life and memory she idolizes, had an affair. In fact, he had a son—her half-brother.  It takes a bit too long for Casey to reach this dramatic moment. I understand why some set-up was needed, but I wanted to arrive more quickly to the moment when everything changes for Casey.

I understand why some set-up was needed, but I wanted to arrive more quickly to the moment when everything changes for Casey.

When Casey is told that her half-brother is already in her life—an intriguing development—she and her best friend try to figure out whom it might be. Over time they narrow the possibilities to two Boston Red Sox players who have befriended Casey and a state cop who works with her husband.

I enjoyed the banter between Casey and her younger brother although it was a little unclear why Casey was so reluctant to find and meet their half-brother while he seemed ready and willing. Likewise, Casey and Sam’s marriage seemed sweet, while realistic at the same time, and the scenes between them provide a nice look into their domestic life. The same goes for Casey’s relationship with her mother.

If you’re looking for a light novel about a likable young woman’s search for peace, then Double Header fits the bill, especially if you have any interest in sports.

The mystery of the Casey’s half-brother’s identity is fun and kept my interest. This seems to be the strongest aspect of Double Header. There were a few smart twists and turns that had me second-guessing my original theory. Unfortunately, some of the scenes at Casey’s marketing job felt a bit like filler, and I found myself wondering what they contributed to the overall plot.

At first, Casey isn’t sure if God can be trusted or if the voice she senses is really Him, but she stays open to the possibility.

Clarice James’ writing style is breezy and casual. For those looking for a complex read, this might not be the best choice because the stakes don’t seem particularly high in this story. However, if you’re looking for a light novel about a likable young woman’s search for peace, then Double Header fits the bill, especially if you have any interest in sports. How refreshing to have this female lead who’s a huge sports fan! (And no worries if you aren’t that into sports; I’m not particularly, and I wasn’t bored or confused by any of the references.)

The Christianity angle is handed adroitly. Casey talks with one of the Red Sox players about his faith, wondering if his prayers actually get answered. She also learns how her mother’s faith has carried her through difficult times. At first, Casey isn’t sure if God can be trusted or if the voice she senses is really Him, but she stays open to the possibility. She listens and waits. And by the end of the book, she gets her sign.

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