Reviewed: 2016-02-21 - (Review Updated: 2016-02-22)
This is a straightforward love story, though it's not about the protagonist's love for each other, it's about their love of baseball. I say it's straightforward because there's little conflict, and no major obstacles for the lovers to overcome; they just live their lives, centered around baseball, and things come together. Oh, they do fall in love, and have sex, and so on, but the story isn't about their romance, it's about baseball.
The story itself is good, there are no twists or major surprises--even the death of one of the protagonist's parents is treated matter-of-fact and without a major disruption to anyone's life. Frankly, I find that troubling.
Even more troubling for me is the dialog: everyone speaks like a 50-year-old English teacher, even the 9-year-olds! There are few contractions, and fewer idioms or slang expressions (other than those referring to baseball). Ordinary folk jes' don' talk like that! And the 9-year-olds use expressions like "play hob" and "tarnish your reputation"; I've never heard 9-year-olds use those expressions. Maybe they did in the '40s, but certainly not today.
Since posting the original version of this review, I've had opportunity to exchange emails with the author. And the author is, in fact, stuck between a rock in a hard place, in that he's trying to make the story readable for those who are not native American speakers; slang, idiom, and contractions make that more difficult. I appreciate the difficulty the author has, and I admit that I don't have a solution to this problem.
In the end, I don't feel like I wasted my time reading this story, but it's not something I'll strongly recommend.