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They were all stars in their hometowns. Then they were drafted to play minor league ball, thinking it would be an easy ride to playing in the big time. Little did they know that they’d be vying for a spot with every other talented kid who aspired to play professional baseball. Young, inexperienced, immature, and without the support of their families and friends, they’re often faced with split-second decisions. Not always on the baseball diamond.
A must-read for fans of baseball, Empty Seats is the new novel from Wanda Adams Fischer and it’s a read with real momentum. A read that benefits from an intriguing and well-structured plot she delivers a slick narrative and in doing so successfully avoids the grandiose mythmaking that has been the bane of many baseball novels to gives us something warm, thought-provoking and utterly convincing. Even readers for whom baseball isn't their favourite sport or those who don't much care for sports at all will find something to garner their attention. It has the thrill of the grass and Fischer does a superb job of capturing the rhythms and rituals of the playing field and the unique bond between players but she does so by staying on the safe side of sentimentality. Yes, baseball is the theme but ultimately what Fischer gives us is a highly original coming of age story. One that evolves at a cracking pace, with Jimmy, Mangino and Bud proving genuinely inspired characters whilst cleverly nuanced subplots create a memorable mix of complexity and melodrama.
A superb debut novel from Wanda Adams Fischer and one that
bodes particularly well for her future releases, Empty Seats is
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Wanda Fischer has loved baseball since she was eight years old. She's parlayed that into her first novel, which is not necessarily about her favorite team, the Boston Red Sox. When she's not writing, she's listening to folk music for her show on WAMC public radio, "The Hudson River Sampler," which she's done since 1982.