Swing for the Fences

Don’t let the title of Gilli Braunstein’s Swing for the Fences fool you – this book isn’t about the game of baseball, but rather about the game of life.

Baseball is used as a metaphor in the book, though. ‘Swing for the fences’ is an expression about swinging as hard as you can, trying to hit a home run. Take that same principle and apply it to life, and you have an idea about what this book is about.

While many of us don’t seek what we truly want in life, Swing for the Fences is about giving life everything you’ve got, to get what you truly desire.

Written by 22-year-old Winnipeg writer Gilli Braunstein, this adventure/romance story involves a tale of growing up. In a first-person narrative, Braunstein chronicles the protagonist’s journey to win the affection of a young woman named Rachel.

The narrator, a teenage boy from the prairies, meets Rachel in Quebec. They are separated by geography but connected by a burning passion within. The protagonist visits Rachel many times, but in the end decides to earn her love by driving across the country unannounced to see her.

The quest for love becomes a tale of growing up, making Swing for the Fences a good read, especially for young adults.

This book is very appealing because the story is very personal. Braunstein, who graduated from the University of Manitoba with a degree in history, did not write this book as your typical novel. It is intimate because there are poems written by the main character included throughout, which helps give the reader an idea of what he’s like.

I felt like the main character reading this book, not only because I could relate to the story and the poetry, but because the book was written in first person. The story itself is fictional, but the message – to give life your all and always swing for the fences – is one worth reading.

Swing for the Fences is Braunstein’s first published book. Given how good it is, one hopes that it won’t be his last.

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