WHEN THE MEN WERE GONE
by MARJORIE HERRERA LEWIS Genre: Historical / Biographical / Sports Fiction Publisher: William Morrow Date of Publication: October 2, 2018 Number of Pages: 24
A cross between Friday Night Lights and The Atomic City Girls, When The Men Were Gone is a debut historical novel based on the true story of Tylene Wilson, a woman in 1940s Texas who, in spite of extreme opposition, became a female football coach in order to keep her students from heading off to war. Football is the heartbeat of Brownwood, Texas. Every Friday night for as long as assistant principal Tylene Wilson can remember, the entire town has gathered in the stands, cheering their boys on. Each September brings with it the hope of a good season and a sense of unity and optimism.
Now, the war has changed everything. Most of the Brownwood men over eighteen and under forty-five are off fighting, and in a small town the possibilities are limited. Could this mean a season without football? But no one counted on Tylene, who learned the game at her daddy’s knee. She knows more about it than most men, so she does the unthinkable, convincing the school to let her take on the job of coach. Faced with extreme opposition by the press, the community, rival coaches, and referees -- and even the players themselves -- Tylene remains resolute. And when her boys rally around her, she leads the team -- and the town -- to a Friday night and a subsequent season they will never forget.
Based on a true story, When the Men Were Gone is a powerful and vibrant novel of perseverance and personal courage.
Marjorie Herrera Lewis is a force of inspiration. After reading When the Men Were Gone I brought her up in conversation during our recent family meet up for Father’s day, when the topic seems to inevitably include the latest trade and sports talk, and for the first time I perked up because I had something I wanted to add. We talked about Marjorie and all the women in sports right now and how far we still have to go. They all seemed impressed by what I was reading because I taught them a thing or two for once about sports. So thank you Majorie for this amazingly inspired story and for being inspired to go and follow in Tylene’s steps. After reading the author’s questions and answers at the end of this book it’s hard to focus on the story itself because my mind was quite blown. This story was based off a real woman stepping up to protect her community from going off to war prematurely which in turn inspired this author to follow her dreams. That alone is beautiful. When the Men Were Gone is a beautiful, inspiring story. She did a great job at focusing on the motive and not getting the reader lost in the game. For those clueless to football, like myself, this was not an overwhelmingly jargon filled read. It focused on the times, the motives, and the struggles Tylene had to endure by stepping up during a time that didn’t care about her motives and were blinded by tradition and principle. This is a story for historical fiction nerds like myself, those who love a good memoir, even those who love a good love story between Tylene and her supportive, strong husband, as well as any adrenaline junkies who might be as nervous as I was on if she’d make it to her first game.
Marjorie Herrera Lewis is an award-winning sportswriter, named the first female Dallas Cowboys beat writer when she was with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. She later joined the SportsDay staff of The Dallas Morning News, where she continued to cover the NFL and professional tennis. She is currently a contributing sportswriter for PressBoxDFW.com. While writing When the Men Were Gone, she became inspired to try her hand at coaching football herself and was added to the Texas Wesleyan University football coaching staff in December 2016. Marjorie has degrees from Arizona State University, The University of Texas in Arlington, Southern New Hampshire University, and certificates from Southern Methodist University, and Cornell University. She is married and has two grown daughters and one daughters and one son-in-law.
GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! THREE SIGNED COPIES OF WHEN THE MEN WERE GONE June 18-28, 2019 (International)
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