Taking Lottie Home

Taking Lottie Home

by Terry Kay

Overview: Cut from their team, Foster Lanier and Ben Phelps are heading out of baseball and Augusta, Georgia, when they meet the woman who will shape their destinies. A river-shanty survivor with a child's sense of innocence, Lottie is gifted with the power of caring and giving, and everyone who meets her—from carnival-camp revelers to small-town society—is affected by her mesmerizing presence. Foster will marry her, yet it will be Ben who ultimately rescues her when tragedy strikes.

A vivid, moving portrait of love in all its facets, this luminous story will linger long in readers' hearts.

Deanna Boe (01/16/19): Obviously I have gone a little crazy over Terry Kay’s writing. Why? Each story is entirely different. There are no “hold over” characters, in short, no serial characters like many of my other favorite authors i.e. John Sanford, Daniel Silva etc., but perhaps that works best when you are a mystery writer? Each of Kay’s books has entirely different characters, new and refreshing plots to enjoy that leave you wondering how his mind can be so creative.

This storyline and writing gives you the actual feel of the early 1900’s. It begins when two ball players, Foster Lanier and Ben Phelps, have been cut from a professional baseball team in Augusta, Georgia. Foster is cut because he injured his leg and can no longer run fast enough; Ben can run fast, but he simply can’t hit. Both end up taking the same train “home.” Ben, who is a kind young man, has the opportunity to work in his small town’s only dry good’s store, a job that is considered more than decent. Ben doesn’t tell his family or anyone else that he was cut from the team, he simply tells them he felt his life would be better back in his hometown working at that store. His family is very happy to have him home and don’t question his decision. The images of the store and the town remind me so much of when I was young living in a small town in Iowa. Through Kay’s descriptions it is easy to capture the feel and essence of life then and the people who lived there.

Ben meets up with the other player, Foster, when they both take the same train out of Augusta. Interestingly enough, there is a beautiful young lady sitting across from Ben with an older man. The man is “giving” her the opportunity to run away from home. Her name is Lottie; the storyline is built around her, Ben, and Foster. Lottie is beautiful, soft spoken and kind. She is taking, unfortunately, what she thinks is the only way out of her horrible home life situation, which obviously isn’t the right way to go.

Ben settles into his sheltered life, living at home with his parents, devoting his entire life to excelling at being a great salesman. Fortunately, for Ben, the store owner has a cute and wonderful young daughter who has been in love with Ben for years; she takes the initiative to capture Ben’s heart. Lottie and Foster re-enter Ben’s life when the carnival comes to town, and then again when Lottie writes to Ben asking him to travel to Kentucky to see Foster who is dying. One never knows quite where the story is going, right up to the end. Lottie does play a major part in all of their lives. Rating: ****+

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