15 Aug 2021

, , ,

Book Review / Sooley by John Grisham

New York Times bestselling author John Grisham takes you to a different kind of court in his first basketball novel. Samuel "Sooley" Sooleymon is a raw, young talent with big hoop dreams...and even bigger challenges off the court.

In the summer of his seventeenth year, Sam­uel Sooleymon gets the chance of a lifetime: a trip to the United States with his South Sudanese teammates to play in a showcase basket­ball tournament. He has never been away from home, nor has he ever been on an airplane. The opportunity to be scouted by dozens of college coaches is a dream come true.

Samuel is an amazing athlete, with speed, quick­ness, and an astonishing vertical leap. The rest of his game, though, needs work, and the American coaches are less than impressed.

During the tournament, Samuel receives dev­astating news from home: A civil war is raging across South Sudan, and rebel troops have ran­sacked his village. His father is dead, his sister is missing, and his mother and two younger brothers are in a refugee camp.

Samuel desperately wants to go home, but it's just not possible. Partly out of sympathy, the coach of North Carolina Central offers him a scholar­ship. Samuel moves to Durham, enrolls in classes, joins the team, and prepares to sit out his freshman season. There is plenty of more mature talent and he isn't immediately needed.

But Samuel has something no other player has: a fierce determination to succeed so he can bring his family to America. He works tirelessly on his game, shooting baskets every morning at dawn by himself in the gym, and soon he's dominating everyone in practice. With the Central team los­ing and suffering injury after injury, Sooley, as he is nicknamed, is called off the bench. And the legend begins.
But how far can Sooley take his team? And will success allow him to save his family?


Published:     27th April 2021
Publisher:  Doubleday
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Bought




I couldn't wait to get my hands on this one.  No, I am not a sports fan and no I've no idea how basketball is played or scored or anything else like that but I know I love John Grisham's writing and knew that I didn't have to know much about the sport as he explains most parts of how they are playing at any given moment.  I also know that this is only part of the story.  The other part is following Sooley and his life around the sport as well, right from the beginning back at home to traveling all teh way to the United States to play the sport that he loves so much.

What I loved the most about this story is the character of Sooley.  I enjoyed following his story from being chosen to join a showcase basketball tournament so he can show if his talents, following as he leans more and more about the sport that he enjoys playing and watching him as both the sport and the new world around him changes him.

This is a slow paced novel and I expected that so yes it took longer for me to get through but I enjoyed every minute.  

Its not often that a story will make me cry but this one did at the end.  I am not going to tell you whether they were happy tears or sad tears but there were tears.  This story moved me.