cover image Tommy’s Field: Love, Loss, and the Goal of a Lifetime

Tommy’s Field: Love, Loss, and the Goal of a Lifetime

Nikki Mark. Union Square, $24.99 (272p) ISBN 978-1-4549-5104-9

Former marketing executive Mark’s inspiring debut memoir details her efforts to turn a neglected Los Angeles park into an athletic field to honor her late son. After 12-year-old Tommy died in his sleep in 2018—the cause remains unknown—a grieving Mark set out to “transform my suffering into a joyful and meaningful life, and inspire Tommy’s heartbroken younger brother... to do the same.” She soon decided to convert a rundown section of the Westwood Recreation Center into “Tommy’s Field,” to memorialize her son’s love of soccer. While Mark sought funds for the project, she battled angry neighbors, who denounced her efforts at seven public hearings and on a website created to oppose the plan, arguing that the area couldn’t handle an influx of visitors. Through the long, contentious approval process, Mark saw signs that convinced her Tommy’s spirit was guiding her forward, including the coincidental scheduling of the field’s groundbreaking on the 47th anniversary of the original park’s opening. The author’s unwavering commitment to the project will inspire readers looking to productively channel their own grief. This is a winner. (Jan.)