"Tom Oliphant has created a small masterpiece."
--Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of the bestselling Wait Till Next Year
Praying for Gil Hodges is built around a detailed reconstruction of the seventh game of the 1955 World Series, when the Brooklyn Dodgers won the world championship of baseball.
Thomas Oliphant creates a relentless melodrama that shows this final game in its true glory. As we move through the game, he builds a remarkable history of the Dodgers' status as a national team, based on their fabled history of near-triumphs and disasters that made them classic underdogs.
He weaves into this brilliant recounting a winning memoir of his own family's story and their time together on that fateful Game Seven day, thrilling a nine-year-old boy in a loving, struggling family for whom the Dodgers were a rare source of the joys and symbols that bring families together through tough times.
Written with power and clarity, this is a brilliant work that captures the majesty of baseball, the issue of race in America, and the love that one young boy, his parents, and the borough of Brooklyn had for their team.
"In Praying for Gil Hodges, Tom Oliphant has created a small masterpiece---a splendid recreation of life in the 1950s, a poignant tribute to his parents, and a fabulous story about the central role the Brooklyn Dodgers played in the lives of his and countless other families. Moving effortlessly from an adult's perspective to a child's recollection, shifting seamlessly between the present and the past, he captures the reader's interest at every step along the way. I found myself happily transported back in time, following a warm-hearted young boy as he comes of age in a memorable era."
---Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of the bestselling Wait Till Next Year
"Tom Oliphant is one of our most lyrical writers and he has written a love story---about his parents, about baseball, and most of all about the American values that shaped their lives."
---Bob Schieffer, Face the Nation
"The story builds to a beautiful and moving resolution, proving that the true center of this book is not the seventh game of the World Series. The heart of the story is the love of a family for a place, a baseball team, but mostly for each other."
---The Boston Globe