Stealing Home by Allison Pittman will steal your heart! I received a copy of this awhile back and just lately had the chance to read it. Yes, it is 12:05 am as I am typing this because after finishing the book, I couldn't wait to share it! It was one of those books that I'm so sad I didn't read the day it came in the mail!
The year is 1905. The baseball superstar for the Chicago Cubs is Duke Dennison. But Duke has a problem. He's a terrific baseball player--but he drinks. So he is sent away to dry out. Newspaper reporter, Dave Voyant, has just the place for him, a place where Duke can recover and remain anonymous--Picksville, Missouri, a dry town whose sheriff just happens to be Dave's father.
Ellie Jane, Dave's spinster sister, is the town's eccentric. And she runs the railroad ticket booth. And she believes in a healthy diet--a very healthy diet consisting of vegetables and oatmeal. And she has a secret admirer--Ned, who owns the feed store and just happens to be deaf.
Ned lives alone over the feed store. He meets the two oclock train every day for deliveries, all the while admiring Ellie in her octoganal ticket booth, longing for a chance to talk with her. He is often assisted in loading his wagon by Morris.
Morris is the town's 12 year-old errand boy who just happens to be black. He dreams of leaving his poverty stricken lifestyle and saves some of his errand money to perhaps get a chance at achieving that dream. Duke discovers that Morris is a terrific pitcher and wants to get him in the big leagues.
How do these four very different people, four very different and lonely people become friends? How does Duke overcome the shakes, what draws Ellie out of her own little world, how does Ned get the courage to court Ellie and can a baseball diamond in a pasture give Morris the chance to leave town?
Read this book!