cover image Steal Away Home

Steal Away Home

Billy Coffey. Thomas Nelson, $15.99 (416 p) ISBN 978-0-7180-8444-8

Coffey (Some Small Magic) pens another nostalgic, lyrical tale blending faith elements with the supernatural. After years playing minor league baseball, Owen Cross has the opportunity to play for the Baltimore Orioles for one night as a backup catcher in 2001. As he sits in the dugout during the game, he reflects on all that brought him to this moment. At age 12 he meets Mickey Dullahan, a girl from the poor section of Camden, W.Va., after his dad moves the family there to take a job as a janitor. The two see each other daily on the secluded hill where they first met, keeping their relationship secret all through high school. When Owen’s talent on the field leads to a scholarship, he plans to save Mickey by taking her away with him to college. But after the two share a mystical experience as they stare into the lights of a train, their lives begin to diverge. Owen’s reverie follows no chronological order, instead following thematic lines as Owen’s mind jumps around and touches on various moments from his past, as when his father declared him a baseball catcher at birth, determined to have his son achieve the baseball dreams he himself was denied. Coffey entrances readers with this quiet tale of love, loss, and deciding what matters most in life. (Jan.)