By James Sturm
I read one of James Sturm's other books and was pretty pleased with his work, so I set out to read a few others- This particular one is about a baseball team... but you needn't know anything about baseball, to get something very significant, very REAL out of it.
In the 1920's, there was a phenomenon in which travelling baseball teams (usually 'themed' in some way, weather real- like an all-black team- or fake, like a 'hillbilly' team playing the fools) would go around the country booking themselves to play with local baseball teams for a game...
...one of the disturbing aspects of this, was that in that era, minorities were pretty much forced to do this, because they couldn't easily get into big leagues and STAY there- inevitably, someone would hurt or attack them, and they'd be out again.
This is the story of one team of jewish baseball players, "The Stars of David" ... and of how it was to BE them, struggling to make a living this way... and how one promoter tried to get them to take advantage of the recent movie about the jewish "Golem"... a creature made from earth that eventually goes mad because it has no soul.
The ending wasn't an ending, which usually ticks me off so much I dislike a book, but I am feeling more forgiving here- I just wanted to go FURTHER in the story, the epilogue, that's all. It ends abruptly, and that irritated me to no end.
But the question- who has a soul, and who goes mad, is an understandable one, especially in that time and place... and the story really touched me in a deep way. This is the way 'historical fiction' should be. :)
I give it the full five out of five stars, and hope it gets wide readership- it's well worth it.