cover image The Second Season

The Second Season

Emily Adrian. Blackstone, $24.99 (236p) ISBN 978-1-79993-214-7

The spare, bold latest from Adrian (Everything Here Is Under Control) follows a sportswriter as she reckons with middle age. Ruth Devon, 42, covers NBA games and longs for a television analyst position now held by her ex-husband, Lester, who is about to retire. Meanwhile, Ruth and Lester’s daughter, Ariana, a high school senior, aspires to be a model, and Ruth has a boyfriend, Joel, who is six years her junior. When Ruth learns she is unexpectedly pregnant, she struggles with deciding whether to tell Joel and weighs her career ambition as well as her devotion to Ariana. Adrian cleverly structures the novel around Ruth’s experiences during the NBA finals, as she covers a conflict between two best friends who play play for the opposing teams (“For the next four games he’s my enemy,” one says). As the games unfold in sharp detail, with attention paid to the action on the court and on the sidelines, Adrian raises the stakes on Ruth’s attempt to keep a handle on things. Even the sports-averse will be caught up in the drama. (July)