Published by David C. Cook on March 1, 2013
Genres: Christian, Fiction
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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.