Doubleday announced last week that it will release a new John Grisham novel on September 9. A surprise addition to the fall list, Bleachers will not be a legal thriller, but will be about high school football and coming of age in a small Texas town.
According to the brief synopsis provided by Doubleday, the novel will center around Neely Crenshaw, "probably the best quarterback ever to play for the legendary Messina Spartans," who returns to Messina for the funeral of coach Eddie Rake. While attending the funeral, Crenshaw and his former teammates relive old times and "try to decide once and for all whether they love Eddie Rake—or hate him." Although not a thriller, the synopsis notes that "the stakes are especially high" for Crenshaw in coming to terms with his relationship with Rake. Suzanne Herz, v-p, associate publisher and executive director of publicity at Doubleday Broadway, said that while Grisham did play football in high school, Bleachers is not autobiographical.
A first printing of two million copies has been set for the $19.95 novel.