Reviewed by Phee Paradise
One Fine Season by Michael Sheehan
If you like baseball, you might enjoy this story about a major league rookie who has an amazing season. But, unfortunately, that is the only thing I can recommend about One Fine Season. The writing is amateurish and the dialogue is unnatural. It also has some crude language and pre-marital sex is celebrated as an expression of love. Even without that I would not recommend this book.
The problem lies in the New Age worldview. The real story is not Danny’s rise to the top of the majors, but his journey through grief after the death of two close friends. Several of his teammates help him come to grips with it through many deep philosophical conversations. They teach him that “Everything is one. Separation from those who have passed over is nothing more than an illusion.” At first I thought that maybe Sheehan was asking us to suspend disbelief and move into a world with a different set of spiritual rules. I like reading fantasy and find this easy to do, although Christian fantasy always maintains a Christian worldview.
I also wondered if Sheehan is a non-Christian trying to reach the Christian market without really understanding our theology. But at the beginning of the book Danny, who considers himself a Christian, summarizes the doctrines of sin, justification and redemption pretty well. His friends immediately correct him with their truths, including the belief that all people have come from “the Divine” in search of something which turns out to be what they left behind. They also tell him that Jesus’ purpose on earth was to show people the way back to the Divine. These are only a few of the concepts that Danny comes to accept as truth. There is no one to argue against them or to say that they are not Christian beliefs.
Pixels, I assume you read this blog because you enjoy reading Christian fiction. If that is what you are looking for, you won't want to read this book. I don’t see how anyone can claim it is Christian. If you are just looking for a good read, you won’t find that either, although Sheehan is a promising writer and experience will probably correct the flaws in dialogue and descriptions I found in this book.
One Fine Season is self-published and Sheehan doesn’t offer acknowledgement or thanks to anyone. Many of the problems I saw in the book may be because he didn’t benefit from professional editing and strong Christian feedback. This is the first time we’ve received a self-published book from the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and we’re wondering why they accepted it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Michael Sheehan is CEO and founder of BioResource, a company that distributes natural remedies including the popular INFLAMYAR ointment for sports injuries. He wrote One Fine Season to honor the memories of two childhood friends who died young, before they could realize their dreams.
One Fine Season is true to life. It draws on Sheehan’s religious education at a Catholic seminary and his experience as a high school baseball and collegiate soccer player. A graduate of Santa Clara University, Sheehan also earned a master’s degree in science journalism from Boston University. He lives in Northern California.
ABOUT THE BOOK
ONE FINE SEASON tells the story of a promising young athlete who must rise from the ashes of devastating personal loss to fulfill a pact made years earlier with his best friend.
Best friends Pete O’Brien and Danny Grace are gifted college athletes, both hoping for careers as professional baseball players. When tragedy strikes, Danny struggles to cope with his overwhelming grief and fulfill a pact the young men made years earlier: to play in the World Series.
Events unexpectedly thrust Danny into the spotlight with the new expansion team in Sacramento. Three guides – an aging catcher, spiritual centerfielder and wise manager – plus a beautiful woman lead him on a healing journey, revealing that even death cannot break the bonds of true friendship.
To read an excerpt from the first chapter of One Fine Season, click HERE
Friday, November 6, 2009
Reviewed by Phee Paradise