Legendary baseball player Babe Ruth is the focus of THE PROGENY’s beginning. Author Mark Rudes covers a few key events in Ruth’s life and introduces a young woman who Ruth meets at a bar one night. The woman has an illegitimate child who Ruth provides for, although he cannot publicly claim the girl as his own.
Fast forward decades later to the same small town in Massachusetts where Ruth housed the mother of his illegitimate daughter and teenager Bobby Morgan’s pitching skills draw the attention of college scouts. When Stewart Marks arrives, everyone assumes he’s also from a school, but Marks is scouting for the Yankees. He’s distracted by Bobby’s beautiful widowed mom, Debbie, who is as smitten by Marks as he is with her. Marks finds himself caught between the wishes of a protective single mom and the demands of his job, particularly when a series of unfortunate events leaves his team scrambling for players.
What comes through in THE PROGENY is the genuine passion the author has for baseball and Babe Ruth. Where Rudes shines is when he details out a pitch or a hit, transporting the reader right to the mound or the plate and taking them through the tiniest movements involved. There are intersecting timelines, mainly early on which start THE PROGENY off with an uneven, unfocused narrative. The book seems like a set-up for fictionalizing the life of Babe Ruth when he is a peripheral character at best. Once the story advances to follow Stewart, Bobby and Debbie, it settles in to an effective narrative flow.
There are typos and some formatting issues where dialogue runs together or is separated from its tag. In a few places apostrophes are used to show possession and some where the word should be plural. Unfortunately, the technical issues are persistent, particularly early on. Although it’s clear where the book is heading, the journey is intense and the baseball games are where the storytelling truly shines.
THE PROGENY is an engaging story and, particularly reader’s who love baseball and a little romance, will find it pretty close to a home run.
~Sandra Ruttan for IndieReader