Last Days of Summer by Steve Kluger
TCMS Book Review
It has been more than a few years ago that I read this book, but I enjoyed it so much I gave it to my dad for Father’s Day and also gave it to my brother in laws. In a time when fatherhood is often marginalized and positive male role models seem to be waning, this book highlights in an engaging fashion the need for men to step up and help guide boys through the turbulent teenage years. Personally, this book has helped me to be a better father and help me focus on the importance of being present in the lives of my children.
I characterize Last Days of Summer as an entertaining read that covers the gamut of emotions while describing the growing friendship between teenage boy Joey Margolis and New York Giants baseball player Charlie Banks. This story is cleverly written in a series of letters between the two with other historical snippets added into the tale and is set in the 1940s in Brooklyn, New York. If you enjoy baseball, historical fiction and a read that will make you laugh out loud at times then I think this may be a book for you.
This book is easy to read and takes readers back in time into a world of baseball before the Giants moved from New York to San Francisco. There are many sentimental and teaching moments as Joey and Charlie’s friendship develops. It is not lost on the reader the great lengths that Joey goes to in order to find a genuine male influence in his life. For me it makes me wonder today how many boys are crying out and seeking in desperation for a positive father figure in their lives. Also, it stands as a reminder to never underestimate the importance of the vocation of marriage and family life.
As I write this review baseball season is in full swing and Father’s Day is fast approaching. Sometimes I know gifts for dad are hard to think of, but perhaps this year this book might be a nice gift for your dad. Today, more than ever, it never hurts for us fathers to hear a word of encouragement that our presence in the lives of our sons and families is necessary and effective.
By Kent Keithly
Husband, fortunate father of four, and Catholic convert of 20 years.