“This is a powerful story of grief, love, forgiveness, and holy mystery, and I loved it. Billy Coffey is a master storyteller.” —Lauren Denton, USA Today bestselling author of The Hideaway
Owen Cross grew up with two loves: one a game, the other a girl. One of his loves ruined him. Now he’s counting on the other to save him.
Owen Cross’s father is a hard man, proud in his brokenness, who wants nothing more than for Owen to succeed where he failed. With his innate talents and his father’s firm hand guiding him, Owen goes to college with dreams of the major leagues—and an emptiness full of a girl named Micky Dullahan.
Owen loved Micky from the first time they met on the hill between their two worlds: his middle-class home and her troubled Shantytown. Years later he leaves her for the dugouts and the autographs, but their days together follow him. When he finally returns home, he discovers that even peace comes at a cost. And that the hardest things to say are to the ones we love the most.
From bestselling author Billy Coffey comes a haunting story of small-town love, blinding ambition, and the risk of giving it all for one last chance.
“In one evening, a single baseball game, Coffey invites us into a lifetime. With lyrical prose and aching description we join Owen Cross on a journey of love, loss, faith, the unexpected—and America’s favorite pastime.” —Katherine Reay, author of Dear Mr. Knightley and The Austen Escape
My Review of Steal Away Home
Billy Coffey gives us a profound story of love and loss in a town where discrimination and intolerance are as natural as breathing in Steal Away Home.
Owen Cross loves baseball. He has since he was a small boy, but then again he doesn’t have much choice. His father Paul, a real contender for professional ball, lost his chance when an injury cost him his pitching arm. Paul lives through his son Owen and is determined to have his son succeed where he has failed. Owen is happy enough to pursue his father’s passion and make professional baseball his dream until he meets Michaela (Micky) Dullahan. Owen has never met anyone quite like Micky. Micky is beautiful, independent and wise beyond her years and Owen is immediately smitten. When anxious to meet up with Micky again she explains to Owen their friendship must be kept a secret. Micky is from Shantytown and shanties don’t mix with the town people. Their relationship would be considered taboo from the people in Shantytown as well as the folks in town, so a secret they remain.
As time goes by, Micky and Owen grow closer and their relationship stronger. Owen and Micky count the moments when they can be together on the hill, their secret meeting place. As graduation closes in, it looks as if Owen will get a baseball scholarship to YSU. It’s everything he and his family have ever wanted. The only part that they are unaware of is Owen’s plan to whisk Micky away when he leaves for college. Everything seems to be going as devised until the night of their class graduation party. Held at an old farm on the edge of town everyone is there, even the shanties. As long as the shanties and town grads are divided by an invisible line that neither will cross a general peace is kept. When a dangerous challenge to play chicken involving a speeding train is thrown down Micky jumps at the bait. As the speeding train approaches Owen moves in to save her, but a spiritual phenomenon transpires changing both Micky and Owen’s lives forever. Owen refuses to acknowledge what has occurred, but Micky is so changed from the experience that her life will never be the same. Micky has a new found faith in God and wants to share that faith and love with the world. No longer afraid to invade the town territory Micky is on a mission to spread love and joy to anyone who will listen. But her faith alone will not allow her to be accepted. She is a shanty in their eyes and always will be. When Owen refuses to accept this new version of Micky their lives are forever changed. Improvising a plan, Owen takes matters into his own hands culminating in disastrous results. What really happened on the night of the graduation party Owen will continue to deny until his and Micky’s past and future collide.
Told from the bench of an Oriole’s game where Owen is given an opportunity to sub for one game, Steal Away Home is a story about the painful reality of love and the lengths some will go to find happiness. Steal Away Home is a book that shows the prejudices of a world where the poor and downtrodden are not accepted and only those who have a future made for the stars have a chance. It’s about using people for gain, without a shred of guilt and assuming knowledge of someone without walking a mile in their shoes. It’s about the courage to stand for someone and something without fear of the consequences. Steal Away Home will steal your heart and make you think about who you are and what you want to be. It’s the story about one boy and one girl, but so much more.
I want to thank Thomas Nelson – Fiction via NetGalley for an advanced reader copy of Steal Away Home for a fair and honest review.
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