Saturday, May 16, 2020

Review of "Stealing Home," by Mary Stolz

Review of

Stealing Home, by Mary Stolz ISBN 0153143657

Four out of five stars

About family with incidental baseball references

Thomas lives with his grandfather near the ocean in Florida. He attends school like all other children his age and his grandfather is retired and enjoying himself fishing and following baseball. Thomas is a fan of the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team and they listen to games on the radio when teams are playing that they are interested in. The Pirates base for spring training is nearby so they attend a few games. Their television doesn’t work, and grandfather promises to get it fixed “someday.” Their small home is not cleaned on a regular basis, yet the two live there very happily with few cares in the world.

 Thomas’ Aunt Linzy, grandfather’s sister-in-law, has not left Chicago in forty years, but she has now sent letters informing them that she is coming to live with them. No reason for the move is given, she informs them when her train will arrive.

 The lives of Thomas and his grandfather change when Thomas is forced to vacate his room for Linzy and all her possessions. She embarks on a cleaning and beautification crusade that includes painting the outside of the house. After some initial reluctance and disturbances, Thomas and his grandfather learn to get along with Linzy and she proves useful and helpful in other ways.

 This is a story about family and working together. Grandfather never hesitates to accept Linzy into his home, she asks, and he says yes as it is clear, but not stated, that she has no other place to go. It is about adapting and seeing what is best in people and learning to tolerate what they do that riles you. Grandfather is a person for whom the Beatles song, “Let it be” was written. He has a very solid philosophical outlook towards life, and he will let nothing, not even a whirling dervish of a cleaning woman change that.

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