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The Ringer
The Ringer
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Jenny gives an overview of the book:

"Shank's first at-bat as a novelist is a hit." - Kirkus Reviews "Amazing!" - Kent Haruf, National Book Award Finalist THE RINGER tells the story of Patricia Maestas, the Mexican-American wife of a Mexican immigrant killed by police, and Ed O'Fallon, the officer who shot her husband, whose sons end up playing in the same competitive...more"Shank's first at-bat as a novelist is a hit." - Kirkus Reviews "Amazing!" - Kent Haruf, National Book Award Finalist THE RINGER tells the story of Patricia Maestas, the Mexican-American wife of a Mexican immigrant killed by police, and Ed O'Fallon, the officer who shot her husband, whose sons end up playing in the same competitive youth baseball league in Denver. Advance praise for THE RINGER "This is a story in which two families from the opposite sides of town, from opposing...
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"Shank's first at-bat as a novelist is a hit." - Kirkus Reviews

"Amazing!" - Kent Haruf, National Book Award Finalist

THE RINGER tells the story of Patricia Maestas, the Mexican-American wife of a Mexican immigrant killed by police, and Ed O'Fallon, the officer who shot her husband, whose sons end up playing in the same competitive...more"Shank's first at-bat as a novelist is a hit." - Kirkus Reviews

"Amazing!" - Kent Haruf, National Book Award Finalist

THE RINGER tells the story of Patricia Maestas, the Mexican-American wife of a Mexican immigrant killed by police, and Ed O'Fallon, the officer who shot her husband, whose sons end up playing in the same competitive youth baseball league in Denver.

Advance praise for THE RINGER

"This is a story in which two families from the opposite sides of town, from opposing cultures, are forced together because of violent death, and one of the things that saves them is baseball. Amazing! And it's even more amazing that Jenny Shank (or any other writer) can pull this off and make us believe it—and keep us reading to the final out."

- Kent Haruf, National Book Award finalist and national best-selling author of Plainsong and Eventide.

"The Ringer is a compelling read with a clever plot, taut construction, and—best of all—boundless empathy for all its complicated characters. Jenny Shank’s as good at moral conundrums as she is at mysteries, as good at police psychology as she is at baseball, as good at her male characters as she is at her females. This is an auspicious and exciting debut."

- Valerie Sayers, author of Brain Fever and Who Do You Love

"Jenny Shank has written a gritty, beautiful novel about growing up in urban America. Two decent, hard-working families share a love of baseball and the same city streets, which should be enough to unite them. Instead a police raid goes wrong, shots ring out, and the families find themselves marooned on opposite sides of a racial divide. Shank insists the reader consider both points of view, with startling results. Her characters are beautifully drawn and you feel as though you’re watching life itself unfold in these pages."

- Helen Thorpe, author of Just Like Us

Reviews

Kirkus Reviews:

"Salvador Santillano dies on the shabby bedroom floor of a suspected drug lair, shot by Ed O'Fallon, a police officer: a by-the-book SWAT raid at the wrong address.

More died that day than an innocent man. Gone is reconciliation between the hardworking Santillano and his dedicated wife, Patricia, a nurse. Patricia has been dismayed by Salvador's unbending attachment to his family in Mexico, and his refusal to stop sending money there. The shooting also may have killed O'Fallon's career. It certainly wounded his emotional stability and his family life. And then there is the city of Denver, with Hispanic activists suspecting the shooting was racially motivated. Shank gets into the head of the hard-charging police officer and uncovers his anxieties, and she draws Patricia as a proud woman fearful that her pride contributed to Salvador's death. That death and its aftermath are the bricks of the story, but the game of baseball drives the narrative. Both families are involved in youth leagues. Ed has been relegated to girl's T-ball because he grew too intense coaching boys. However, his sons, Jesse and E.J., play on a championship team, and Salvador's son, Ray, is a coveted pitching prodigy. As the season progresses, Ray, using his mother's maiden name, ends up pitching as a "ringer" for the O'Fallon boys' team in state and regional games. Patricia realizes early that the O'Fallons are involved, but she realizes too that baseball, Salvador's passion and Ray's love, might save her son from being seduced into street-gang life. Ray's precarious hold on his own emotions falters when he discovers the man who killed his father watching from the bleachers. While some may think O'Fallon deserved one more chapter, considering the depth of his transformation, the author carries her novel to a believable conclusion, with skillful tightening of the emotional tension along the way.

Shank's first at-bat as a novelist is a hit."

Publisher's Weekly:

"Shank debuts promisingly with the dramatic story of two families upended by an accidental police shooting. Denver police officer Ed O'Fallon is wracked with guilt after he guns down a man during a drug raid; Patricia Maestas, meanwhile, is instantly made a widow and single mother. Their narratives are equally engaging: as Ed's marriage buckles under the weight of his feelings of guilt, Patricia struggles to keep her 12-year-old son, Ray, out of trouble. What keeps Ray off the streets is baseball--the same sport Ed's sons are devoted to. When an investigation reveals the warrant for the fateful raid had the wrong address, Patricia and her family become a symbol of the wrongs suffered by the Latino community. The novel comes to a full boil after Patricia and Ed discover one another's identities through their sons' baseball teams…The narrative finds its groove…and barrels toward a well-handled climax."

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Note from the author coming soon...

About Jenny

Jenny Shank grew up in Denver, Colorado, and earned degrees from the University of Notre Dame and the University of Colorado.  She is the author of the novel THE RINGER, to be published by The Permanent Press in March 2011.  Her stories, essays, and reviews have appeared or...

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