For The Someday Book

Book Review: Calico Joe

Posted on: January 12, 2013

Calico Joe by John Grisham, Doubleday, 2012, 198 pp.

calico joeI needed something quick and light and distracting to read on New Year’s Day, and my parents had made this as a gift to me for Christmas. It was the perfect fit.

Calico Joe is a story about baseball, about fathers and sons, about sin and forgiveness, about tragedy and overcoming. The narrator is the adult Paul Tracey. His father is Warren Tracey, a former professional baseball player and a nasty jerk. Joe Castle was a rookie phenom in the summer of 1973, and adored by an eleven-year-old Paul Tracey. His short career ended after he was hit in the head by a fastball thrown by Warren Tracey. The pitch left him seriously disabled, and many suspect it was intentional. Only Paul and Warren know the truth.

Calico Joe is about what happens 30 years later, when Warren is dying and Paul tries to somehow forge healing for his own relationship with his estranged father, his childhood hero Calico Joe, and the past they all share.

It’s as simple as that–a good story, told well. Just the thing for a holiday treat.

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About Me

I am a full-time pastor in the United Church of Christ, mother of a young child (B.), married to an aspiring academic and curmudgeon (J.). I live by faith, intuition and intellect. I follow politics, football and the Boston Red Sox. I like to talk about progressive issues, theological concerns, church life, the impact of technology and media, pop culture and books.

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