years ago Terry Kay wanted to write a book about local baseball hero Ty
a couple of attempts with a manuscript that didn't work, he moved on.
Yet, he returned to the manuscript during a dry spell, and
discovered what was missing.
The story wasn't about baseball, but this female character on the
train with the players -- a woman with a gentle spirit and haunting eyes.
It was the story of Lottie Lanier and her journey home.
novel begins in 1904 at a minor league field in Augusta, Georgia.
Two players must be cut from the roster.
At 29, Foster Lanier is already a has-been baseball star.
He knows this is his last game.
Phelps and Milo Wade are childhood best friends and rookies.
Milo is a natural with the bat and bound for a career with the
is good in the field, but can't hit the ball at the plate.
Even an amazing catch during the last game cannot save Ben Phelps
from the cut.
the train Foster and Ben take from Augusta, they meet a traveling salesman
and a young girl hoping to find a new life.
Raised in poverty in a shack on the Savannah River, Lottie dreams
of escaping her hopeless world.
Her beauty is her ticket out, and she is willing to barter her body
Foster recognizes the mix of worldly knowledge and gentle innocence
within the girl.
He ends up taking the girl from the salesman, planning to return
her to her family in Augusta.
pass, as Foster and Lottie join a carnival show traveling the South.
They are reunited with Ben Phelps, when the carnival comes to his
hometown of Jericho, Georgia.
The bond between the trio becomes stronger as Foster aids Ben in
becoming a local hero and as they are bound by secrets.
becomes a clerk in dry goods store and falls in love with the owner's
Foster is dying and summons Ben to Kentucky to take Lottie home to
Ben creates a series of lies in order to keep his plans secret from
those at home.
Once he gets to Kentucky, he discovered that Lottie has married
Foster and they have a young son named Ben.
Once Foster is buried, they get on the train to return to Georgia;
yet, the child and Ben become seriously ill.
Lottie gets off the train at Jericho to get Ben home.
risk of the house of lies falling apart is strong, yet Lottie's eyes drawn
people to her.
Like an "Angel of the Lonesome", Lottie fills the needs
of those around her.
She provides a child for a lonely mother, a girl friend for a young
woman without female companionship, and love for a man in a loveless
Lottie gives without taking.
Kay has created a touching story about what it is to find one's home.
For Lottie, it is not only the place where she was raised, but also
the love of the people that surround her and the self-love that comes from
© 2000 Southern Scribe, All Rights Reserved