This is a departure from my usual John Grisham fare. I'm keeping a list of his books, or a bookology if you will, and I'm coming down to the wire of things I haven't read yet. This is his heartwarming coming of age novel, Bleachers.
Neely Crenshaw was not just the star quarterback of his high school football team; he was a town legend -- an All-American who went on to play college ball before ending his career with an injury. However, something happened his senior year that alienated him from his beloved coach and town celebrity, Coach Rake. When we'd gets out that Rake is dying, his former Spartans converge on their home terf to hold vigil and remember their glory days.
This was a sweet book that was a quick read. It is a different genre than most of us are familiar with when it comes to Grisham, and it was an enjoyable one. The story was part coming of age, part reminiscent novel, and it told a story that was relatable and felt quite classic. For those who grew up in small towns, or in areas where football reigned king (I'm looking at you, Southerners!), the nostalgia will ring heavy and true to you.
The last quarter of the book is very technical; it consists of the past players reliving one final game, play by play, and I will be upfront in saying that I glossed over these passages. I love college football like any good SEC school graduate, but it wasn't up my alley in a relaxing novel. Other than these sections, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, as it's a lovely summer/beach read for those in the mood for some light, sweet fare.