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...AND MY FATHER WAS THERE by Noah McCaffrey
Glory Road Books - June 2018
Hardcover edition ISBN 978-1-7323963-0-2 (U.S. $25.99)
Ebook edition ISBN 978-1-7323963-1-9 (U.S. $8.99)
Library of Congress Control Number (LCCN) 2018946747
Readers' Favorite review - AND MY FATHER WAS THERE
BOOK REVIEW #1
Reviewed by Scott Cahan for Readers' Favorite
And My Father Was There by Noah McCaffrey is a fictional story that is built around a true baseball legend. The main character is a young man named Laird Young the third. He is the son of a former baseball player/former soldier from World War One. As the story begins, Laird is bitter toward his father for going off to war when Laird was only three years old and then coming home badly wounded and unable to interact with him for the past 20 years. A special gift from Laird’s Mom sets him on a journey of personal discovery that will lead Laird in many unexpected directions.
And My Father Was There is about several very important themes. It’s about the history of professional baseball during the early part of the twentieth century. It also gives us a painful look at the devastating effects a war can have on a soldier and his family. Although both of those themes are played out beautifully throughout the story, they are not the main theme that brings this book to life. And My Father Was There is first and foremost a vivid picture of an imperfect but happy American family during the 1940s. This book is a slice of Americana that gave me a glimpse back in time and made me wish I was there.
McCaffrey’s characters are all colorful and relatable. His plot moved slowly, just as a character-driven story should, but it was still full of enough twists and turns so that I found it difficult to put down at times. And My Father Was There will have you laughing and crying and reading with wide eyes to see what will happen next to the loveable characters of this all-American portrait. I enjoyed it very much and I’m not even a baseball fan. At least I wasn't before. Now I find myself wanting to learn more about the early days of baseball. Great book.
BOOK REVIEW #2
Reviewed by Stephen Fisher for Readers' Favorite
And My Father Was There by Noah McCaffrey is a riveting story that begins with Laird Allen Young III telling the story about his love for the game of baseball. He is the son of a former Boston Braves player, Laird (Al) Young Jr., Shortstop, who goes off to WWI and gets seriously wounded by artillery fire. He is discharged and returns home in a catatonic state. Laird, his son, is raised by his mother, a strong-willed baseball statistician, who begins teaching her son how to pitch. After he grows up, he lands a spot in the Braves' minor league organization, the Hartford Bees. As the story unfolds, we learn a lot about both father and son, the heartfelt relationships with those around them, and we discover just what it is that resides in the tin box that sets Laird on an adventure of discovery.
McCaffrey does a remarkable job of telling this heartwarming story through the eyes of a struggling young baseball player who hated growing up without a real father, until his grandfather reveals important moments of his son's life. McCaffrey's characters are very real and believable. He is able to lead the reader on an emotional roller coaster ride of elating ups and heart wrenching downs. From beginning to end, this book is full of surprises, with a few change-ups and curve balls thrown in for good measure. I was attracted to this book because of my love for the game of baseball and, having actually met some of greats mentioned, I was entertained on all levels. There were "Ah ha!" moments that reminded me of A Field of Dreams and Eight Men Out, but this surpassed them both. All I could say when I was finished was Wow! Right down the heart of the plate. The best story about love, life, and baseball ever!
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