Rebecca Cornish Talley * * * *
Liza Compton remembers a great life with her younger brother and parents, before her father became a law partner in a new firm, moved the family to an expensive home in stylish Aldrich Heights for Liza’s senior year in high school. Though her mother defended her father’s transfer of loyalty from his family to his work, everything seems to be going downhill for Liza, except for basketball. She loves the sport her father taught her, the only thing wherein she feels in control. She makes the last two free-throws to win the state championship for her team, but is still devastated because her father breaks his promise to be there for the game. Again, his law practice is more important.
Kyle Reynolds, is Liza’s only friend outside her basketball teammates. He is Mormon, and invites Liza to a ward luau to which she must come if he beats her in a one-on-one game of basketball. He wins. Things should be getting better, but they don’t, until Liza seems to have lost everything in her life that had any importance.
Liza’s father comes across to me as merely a shadow of a man. I fully accepted his devotion to his law practice, because I had been so startled by friendly warning one speaker gave at my own son Wayne’s graduation from ASU’s law school. He claimed legal work and research can easily become so fascinating and demanding that it consumes the whole being to the exclusion of family. Only constant self control gets a good lawyer home to spouse, children, and life outside the office or court room. I got the impression this speaker believed law was the only profession quite so enchanting.
Nevertheless, Liza’s father’s actions and comments seem too terse and repetitive to arouse any feeling for him as a person, until after tragedy changes his actions. Even then, he claims his withdrawal from the family is evidence of his love and caring.
Still, this book kept me awake all night, until I finished it. I’d just like to have been shown more body language along with the father’s defenses, especially in the early part, which would make him more than just a paper father. But maybe that’s just me.
I highly recommend this as a good book.