CHIN MUSIC ~Lee Edelstein
I had no idea what the term CHIN MUSIC was all about, as a matter of fact it just seemed like a curious title for a book I was being asked to review on a TLC tour. I had to read the cover to get an adequate explanation and what turned out to be the best description of the story inside I have ever read.
“CHIN MUSIC: In baseball terms, a 95-mile-per-hour fastball thrown at a hitter’s chin. Its purpose? To disrupt the batter’s concentration, throw him off kilter. But there’s a split second’s difference between getting IN the batter’s head and hitting it, causing serious damage or worse. In a larger sense, chin music is a metaphor for that split second – a phone call in the middle of the night, a visit to the doctor – when our lives are irrevocably changed and our destinies are forever altered.”
After reading this description, I am fully engaged with reading this book and discovering the words that make up the story. It is actually several stories well told and it starts out about 85 years earlier with Babe Ruth at spring training in Florida and a haircut. I wrote a report about Babe Ruth in 4th grade; it was an assignment not my choice, and my teacher knew that I had been hit in the eye by a fly baseball one of my early weeks in first grade – you see the 8th grade boys were having a game in the yard of the school and the bell rang and I ran into the path of the ball just off the bat. My vision has been forever changed. I still played a great deal of baseball in the back fields when the boys would let me play or were short for a team. I went to my first professional baseball game in Seattle for my 58th birthday a gift from my daughter.
CHIN MUSIC moves one forward to the present day and a life altering car accident, which radically changes a family’s future. This CHIN MUSIC event got caught right into one young man’s mind and was causing him nightmares and problems.
The love of sports and a good counselor assisted this fellow in healing and processing the accident. The story points out good life skills and asking for assistance. It is a marvelous coming of age story. It is listed as a young adult read, but I believe that many, many folks will like this story and find a bit of themselves in between the binding.
The Mother in this story was well characterized and not portrayed as just an add-on to the whole experience. She was tracking down a mystery and a family secret which she believed would assist her family in healing and moving forward in their lives. She was a vital part of the story.
The boy’s father was also treated with dignity and respect; often a rare find these days.
I thought Edelstein did a marvelous job of bringing in an older adult who became a mentor in the situation and helped the family trust. I think too often the older person in stories is seen as the crabby, sit-com style neighbor who makes more discouragement and trouble for the hero, whereas in this story each character had the opportunity to be a hero and the main character – as big as Babe Ruth.
I believe the sport of Baseball gets a big boost from this author’s love of the sport. Most readers would enjoy this book.
After my partner gets a chance to read this book, I am going to pass it on to Library Girl’s School Library, and you could win a copy of this book for yourself or your school library as the SELA HOUSE Publishers and TLC Book Tours are offering a giveaway. Looking forward to your comments.
“Lee Edelstein was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY where his love of baseball was kindled by his Dad, an ardent Dodger fan. After a successful business career, Lee resolved to pursue a lifelong passion for writing. CHIN MUSIC is his first novel.” His Blog which is also called CHIN MUSIC