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An Invincible Summer
by Ivan Scott
Aventine Press, 2002
Trade paper, $16.95 (289 pages)
ISBN: 0-9722932-4-8
 
 

A touch of Frank Capra movie magic comes through the pages of An Invincible Summer.  Whether intentional or not, Ivan Scott uses Heavenly beings to bring happiness and hope to Earthly creatures.  Jack, a Saint of the Lost Clauses Department, is given the case of Sam Murdock, a modern day man suffering a broken heart.  To help Sam rediscover joy and hope, Jack grants him his fantasy of playing for the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers. Sam, a TV producer in Atlanta, goes to sleep in 2001 only to wake up on a 1955 train heading to New York City.  Jack creates a minor league past for him, so that the Dodger organization is ready for the “Demolition Man” to save the season. 

The Dodgers travel to Chicago to play the Cubs, where Sam meets a lovely tall redhead named Lara Kennedy.  Lara works for the Cubs – everything from showing orphans around Wrigley Field to scouting teams on the road. As Sam attempts a relationship with Lara, she is standoffish.  Perhaps it is her rule not to date ballplayers, she could be recovering from her own broken heart, or it could be remembering the pain her single mother suffered years ago.  Lara, a Southern girl from Charleston, SC, finally gives in to Sam’s Southern gent ways.  Their dates are innocent and full of romance – such as evening picnics on Wrigley Field and Ebbets Field.  Yet there is still something unearthly standing in their way. 

This journey is not only for Sam, but also to save Jack, who returns each year to the apartment on North Sheffield in Chicago with a dozen red roses to watch his soulmate with her daughter.  As a Saint, he was unable to remain with the woman after her Lost Clause case was closed.  Sam’s journey touches Jack’s own Lost Clause in a special way – and healing for both. 

An Invincible Summer has many comic moments where celebrities of 1955 interact with Sam Murdock, such as Humphrey Bogart, Frank Sinatra, Clark Gable, Don Newcombe, Whitey Ford, Casey Stengel, Pee Wee Reese, and Roy Campenella.   

Ivan Scott's debut novel uses the magic of what baseball was, to capture that innocence of spirit and open hearts to love again. 

 

Joyce Dixon
Southern Scribe Reviews

 

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