Books

"The Batter’s Box is a tour de force—a riveting tale of baseball, war, and the human spirit...This is an amazing story—well-written, beautifully designed, and emotionally satisfying."

Military Writers Society of America

 

In 1946, a returning World War II veteran is determined to reclaim his place among professional baseball’s upper echelon and win back the woman he once fell for. Two months into the new season, at the top of his game, he abandons his team, casting aside his fame and riches and vanishing forever from the public eye. What drives a man to walk away from everything he cherishes, never to be heard from again?

 

THE BATTER’S BOX follows the path of Will Jamison, a star player with the Washington Senators who enlists in the U.S. Army following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. When the war ends, Jamison returns to Washington, a decorated hero tormented by deep emotional scars. Burdened with a crushing guilt and harrowing memories he cannot escape, Jamison’s life is consumed by an explosive temper, sleepless nights, and a gradual descent into alcoholism. He must also navigate public misconceptions about mental illness in the 1940s, and stigmas that often silenced those who suffered and drove veterans like Jamison into dark corners. Will he continue, alone with his anguish and misery? Or will Jamison level with those around him, including the woman he loves, and seek the professional care he desperately needs, even at the risk of exposing his secrets and shame?

2019 WINNER
Military Writers Society of America
Gold Medal
Historical Fiction

“Readers will find themselves immersed in this story and captivated by its principal characters.”  

James M. McPherson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Battle Cry of Freedom 

 

December 1941, Pearl Harbor. A peaceful Sunday morning turns into a devastating attack on American soil. Naval officer Malcolm “Mac” Kelsey is severely wounded while defending his ship. A flawed man abandoned long ago by his alcoholic wife, Kelsey has been mired in despair and hopelessness following the accidental death of Lucy, the young daughter he considers the only redemptive aspect of his life. Near the point of death, Kelsey is brought to what he believes to be an afterlife where he is offered an opportunity to shed his past memories and embark upon an alternate path in another place and time. Eager to escape his torment and begin a more tranquil existence, Kelsey accepts, only to feel quickly betrayed as he soon finds himself back in the midst of battle, this time as a Union soldier at the dawn of the Civil War.

 

Through Antietam, Gettysburg and four years of relentless fighting, Kelsey attempts to cast aside his painful past while trying to survive the horrors of combat. He crosses paths with compelling figures on both sides of the conflict determined to persevere and return to those they left behind. Idealistic Ethan Royston, promoted from the enlisted ranks, believes in preserving the Union but is plagued by insecurity and self-doubt. His closest friend, West Point-trained Cal Garrity, remains loyal to his home state of Virginia despite his misgivings about the virtue of the Southern cause. The war will divide these friends, just as it will divide Garrity from his adoring wife, Emily, the charismatic and headstrong daughter of a prominent Norfolk shipbuilder, forced to face the onset of war alone.

 

Each will endure unimaginable hardship and brutality that will forever reshape their core beliefs and values. Each will find their strength and resolve tested as they search for self-purpose, humanity, and reconciliation. Most of all, Mac Kelsey will discover the very essence of life and death, and whether the new beginning he has long coveted will bring him the inner peace he has so desperately sought.

“Profound, smart, and entertaining – the path through The Other Side of Life is an amazing journey through history.” 

Joe Weisberg, Creator and Executive Producer of FX’s The Americans and author of An Ordinary Spy

2016 WINNER
Independent Publisher Book Awards
Bronze Medal
Military & Wartime Fiction
2016 WINNER
Foreword Magazine INDIEFAB Awards
Honorable Mention
War & Military Fiction

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© 2019 by ANDY KUTLER