Playing by HeartBook - 2014
From the critics
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ula Bowman has finally achieved her dream: a teaching position and a scholarship to continue her college education in mathematics. But then a shocking phone call from her sister, Jewel, changes everything.
With a heavy heart, Lula returns to her Oklahoma hometown to do right by her sister, but the only teaching job available in Dunn is combination music instructor/basketball coach. Lula doesn't even consider those real subjects!
Determined to prove herself, Lula commits to covering the job for the rest of the school year. Reluctantly, she turns to the boys' coach, Chet, to learn the newfangled game of basketball. Chet is handsome and single, but Lula has no plans to fall for a local boy. She's returning to college and her scholarship as soon as she gets Jewel back on her feet.
However, the more time she spends around Jewel's family, the girls' basketball team, music classes, and Chet, the more Lula comes to realize what she's given up in her single-minded pursuit of degree after degree. God is working on her heart, and her future is starting to look a lot different than she'd expected.
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It was pleasantly different, starting with having such an studious and intellectual main character in Lula. She's a mathematician, and loves numbers, even finds comfort in them when things turn stressful. She's hidden herself away in a world of scholarly pursuits and has forgotten much about how to live the rest of life - outside those walls she's constructed for herself.
It's an age old story of the withdrawn girl learning to take risks and live more fully with a different twist, that being the early days of basketball. How fun to read about the beginnings of the game, and about the adaptations for the girls so that they wouldn't end up with "bicycle heart" of all things! There are serious subjects in this story but there's also humour to lighten it up. It's a nice escape from the modern age.
This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
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