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Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite
The Lost Innings: A Baseball Redemption by Alex Murphy is a powerful and poignant sports fiction novel. Centering on baseball but extending into a character-driven contemporary drama, this story unfolds through lead character Jack Ridley whose whole life has been defined by baseball, from childhood to adulthood. He loved everything about baseball, and it was more than a way of life. It WAS his life. On his way to becoming a legend, destiny threw him a curveball that changed everything in a drastic way. Losing baseball and love in one fell swoop, he thought the game was over until a second chance showed up in his life in the form of a young ballplayer and his mother.
This is a solid debut novel. It has a lot to offer fans of baseball without being cliched, but even more to those who like heartfelt stories of redemption. The author's crafting of Jack Ridley is perfect in that Ridley feels like a walking, breathing man who is at the top of his game and loving every minute of it, but suffers a setback. Murphy seems to have a natural gift for character building, story arcs, and a meaningful plot. While reading through the chapters, you get the feeling you know people like Jack, Duncan, and Danielle, and understand their situations and how they feel. The author writes with emotion, drawing the reader in on a personal level with his finger on the pulse of Americana itself. Besides baseball and relationships, you have themes of music and humor. The inside-baseball information will appeal to avid baseball players and fans, and the book as a whole has a wide appeal. If you like stories such as Field of Dreams or The Natural, you will love The Lost Innings: A Baseball Redemption by Alex Murphy.