Guest review: Dorothy Mills on Throw Like a Woman

August 6, 2015

It’s always a pleasure to post a review from a friend of the blog. this case we have Dorothy Mills, baseball historian and author of such books as A Woman’s Work: Writing Baseball History With Harold Seymour; Chasing Baseball: Our Obsession with Its History, Numbers, People and Places; and Drawing Card: A Baseball Novel, among scores of other titles for adults and young people.

Ms. Mills, who worked with for husband, the late Harold Seymour, on the seminal “Baseball Trilogy” — and for whom the Society for American Baseball Researched named its most prestigious award — was kind enough to provide the following for Susan Petrone’s new novel.

* * *,204,203,200_.jpgI just finished reading a book I wish I had written: Susan Petrone’s latest novel, Throw Like A Woman.

What makes the book so readable is that what Susan writes about could really happen. I have recently read two other books about a woman playing baseball in the majors, and neither of them told a plausible story.

A good novel must be based on realistic characters interacting in a historically true background and performing acts that could actually occur/ Susan’s persuasive story features a female protagonist readers can accept as someone they might meet tomorrow who does something that seems perfectly authentic.

On top of that, Susan is a good writer. Readers won’t find awkward sentences with bumps to get over, grammatical lapses like hanging clauses, or misplaced modifiers stuffed into the wrong sentence position. The writing is smooth and clear, the plot construction authoritative, and the story a real pull-me-in. Moreover, Susan, who plays baseball herself, knows how to select real-sounding game events as well as how to use the right words in describing them.

Readers of baseball fiction may be a bit surprised, but probably not amazed, at what happens in Throw Like a Woman. I think we all know that in some way or other, at some time or other, a woman will become a part of a major-league team. It’s just a matter of how soon/late and how easy/difficult it’s going to be. The way Susan imagines its occurrence is one we might all find welcome.


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