Home Run – Travis Thrasher

Home Run Travis Thrasher
Home Run by Travis Thrasher
Published by David C. Cook on March 1, 2013
Genres: Christian, Fiction
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four-stars

Baseball star Cory Brand knows how to win. But off the field, he’s spiraling out of control. Haunted by old wounds and regrets, his future seems as hopeless as his past.

Until one moment—one mistake—changes everything. To save his career, Cory must go back to the town where it all began. His plan is simple: coach the local baseball team, complete a recovery program, and get out as fast as possible. Instead, he runs headfirst into memories he can’t escape ... and the love he left behind.

Faced with a second chance he never expected, Cory embarks on a journey of faith, transformation and redemption. And along the way, he discovers a powerful truth: no one is beyond the healing of God.
A novel based on the major motion picture starring Vivica A. Fox and Scott Elrod, Home Run is an inspirational story of the hope and freedom God offers each of us. www.HomeRunTheMovie.com

Cory Brand thinks he has it all going on. He’s a millionaire, playboy, major league baseball player who is hitting his way to the Hall of Fame. Abusive past behind him, glory set in front of him, Brand isn’t going to let anything stop him. Not even his burgeoning alcohol problem. But when he accidentally injures a bat boy—his nephew, to make matters worse—on national television, he’s suspended and sent back to his hometown, forced to coach the local Little League team while spending eight weeks in Celebrate Recovery.

Brand initially takes it in stride, ready to do his time and get out. But being home calls up the specters of the past—the memories of his old man, the presence of his high school sweetheart, and a renewed relationship with his little brother. Brand must not only confront his alcohol problem, but also face the mistakes and terrors of his past.

Let’s be honest. There’s not much that’s original about this storyline. The hometown hero is utterly changed, comes to terms with his past, reignites old relationships. But that predictability doesn’t make the story any less fun. Thrasher weaves the tale well, the talented writing style keeping the story from becoming dull or unimaginative. Most poignant, of course, is the theme of alcoholism and the destruction it wreaks. However, the subplots are what really make the novel a three-dimensional entity. The book gently touches on everything from growing up in an abusive family, to high school romance, to dealing with past traumas and abuses. Cory begins as an arrogant and unsympathetic character, but as the story marches on readers begin to see past the veneer of All-Star Cory Brand and instead see him for the person he is.

But this isn’t some pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps message of self-reliance and improvement, rather, the most powerful point Home Run makes is the necessity of an honest and loving community wherein one can share one’s problems. Namely, the church. Too often, the church fails to be that safe haven and, while the movie and book are meant to show the positive example of Celebrate Recovery, one can also look past that specific organization to its underlying principle of the people of the church working together as a family—being honest, real, and broken. In the end, Home Run is an inspiring and heartwarming tale of facing up to the challenges of life and defeating them—not through the power of oneself, but through the power of God and a supportive community.

four-stars

About Travis Thrasher

Travis Thrasher

Bestselling author Travis Thrasher has written over 50 books, spanning genres in fiction, nonfiction and children’s literature. His inspirational stories have included collaborations with filmmakers, musicians, athletes, celebrities and pastors.

With the childhood goal of pursuing a writing career starting in third grade, Thrasher worked for 13 years at Tyndale House Publishers after graduating college. His experience working with as Author Relations Manager allowed him to understand the writing life as well as training him to work with a variety of personalities. This experience has proven to be invaluable with varied writing projects in the decade he’s been a full-time writer.

His novels are as diverse as the people he’s worked with, ranging from love stories to supernatural thrillers. Publishers Weekly said “Sara and Ethan are two of the most real and sensitive lovers to grace the genre” when reviewing his first novel, The Promise Remains. They also stated “Thrasher demonstrates a considerable talent for the horror genre” in a review for Isolation years later. His readers have enjoyed the unpredictability of his novels, whether it’s due to a unique style such as second person or a twist they never saw coming.

Thrasher’s storytelling ability has also allowed him to work with others on their books, from musicians like country musician Scotty McCreery and Journey keyboardist Jonathan Cain to the Robertsons of Duck Dynasty. He has also penned novels based on songs such as Paper Angels with Jimmy Wayne and novelizations for films including Do You Believe? and God’s Not Dead 2. Upcoming projects continue to expand his talents, with projects including The Black Auxiliary about the lives of the 17 American black athletes who competed in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, and Baby Don’t Hurt Me about comedian Chris Kattan’s life and time on Saturday Night Live.

Travis lives with his wife and three young daughters in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area.

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