Miranda is a bright, attractive woman with an important government job, a nice home and a prominent lawyer husband. Her fraternal twin sister Jessica is a sportswriter who has spent years sacrificing her social life and conventional career prospects to establish a magazine. Jessica’s publication has finally caught on, and she has gained renown for an article she wrote about local baseball star Manny Chavez. She chronicled Manny’s perilous journey back to his native Cuba to retrieve the son who had been abducted by his unstable ex-wife.
Jessica, now engaged to Manny, invites Miranda, her husband and their parents to join her in a luxury suite to watch the hometown Washington Filibusters take on their archrivals, the Florida Keys, in a championship game. As they are wined and dined by the team owner, Miranda envies her sister’s seemingly perfect life, and realizes that her own is a facade. But this feeling is soon to be overwhelmed, as the forces of revenge and corporate greed catch up to the “perfect” couple and blow their world apart.
Let’s Play Ball dramatizes the struggles of two ambitious sisters against the backdrops of immigration, international conflict and the nation’s pastime.
“What’s keeping Manny?” I asked. “Is he still being interviewed?”
“No, he couldn’t be,” said Jessie. “He texted me as he was leaving the clubhouse, saying he was done with that. But I guess he got involved in talking to his folks or Bobby. He should be here in a few minutes.”
Dad started to pace again. After a while, he said with some annoyance, “I think if Manny doesn’t get here in fifteen minutes or so, we should call the Palm and push back our reservations to eight thirty.”
By the time the fifteen minutes were up, the TV monitor had gone dark. Cleaning crews had replaced the crowd in the stands, and ground crews were working the field. The game had ended ninety minutes ago. Tommy finally closed his computer and looked around the suite with a perplexed expression.
Jessie plucked her cell phone out of her purse and speed-dialed Manny’s number. “Hi, baby. Can you pick up?” She paused, evidently getting no answer. “Well, I don’t want to rush you, but—we’re all getting hungry. Please hurry.”
She had spoken calmly, but she looked unsettled to me. “You know how friendly Manny is,” I offered. “He could have stopped to talk to someone—anyone—and lost track of time. Even a bathroom attendant or one of the cleaning crew.”
“Or a hot ball girl,” said Tommy.
I looked daggers at him and almost blurted, “Don’t judge Manny by your own standards,” but I said nothing.
“It’s not like him to be this late without calling or texting me,” said Jessie. She waited a minute or two and then tried his cell phone number again, still without success. She dropped the phone on the table with a clatter.
“He never does this.” She began twirling one of her locks violently.
No one else seemed to know what to say. Our hunger had long since given way to annoyance. And as the minutes kept crawling by, that feeling turned to fear. Where in hell was Manny?
Midwest Book Review
A simple ball game can spiral into so much more. "Let's Play Ball" is the tale of Miranda and Jessica, two sisters and their husbands. Jessica is married to major baseball star Manny Chavez, and seems to have ti made. But Miranda discovers that beneath the pristine exterior lies a struggle of international politics over what should just be a harmless ball game. "Let's Play Ball" is a riveting piece of fiction that is well worth considering.