Book Review | Throw Like A Woman by Susan Petrone



“Forty years old, divorced, with two sons on the verge of adolescence and an ex-husband who considers visitation to be optional, Brenda Haversham isn’t having a whole lot of fun. She’s also no longer qualified for the work she loves, so she’s toiling away in a cubicle instead, trying to make ends meet. Brenda is short on money, short on connection with her kids, and short on any kind of social life. The only thing Brenda has in abundance is her anger. And that turns out to be her greatest asset.

When she was a kid, Brenda’s father taught her how to throw a good fastball. That wasn’t of much use to a girl, but it is enough to astound onlookers at a “test your speed” pitching cage before a Cleveland Indians game. The more Brenda pictures her ex-husband’s face on the other end, the harder she throws. And when someone tapes her performance and puts it up online, Brenda becomes an Internet sensation and then more than that.

The Indians come calling and Brenda finds her life taking a turn in a new direction. Soon, she’s standing on the mound as the first woman player in Major League history and dealing with everything that comes with it. The money is great and the endorsement deals are even better. The fury of “traditionalists?” Not so much. And the conflicting emotions of her teammates are even harder to manage. Meanwhile, Brenda’s home life is evolving faster than she can keep up, redefining her role as a mother, a friend, and even a lover. As the season winds down Brenda will find out if she has what it takes to be a winner at both baseball and life.” (Description via NetGalley)


Susan Petrone has created a masterful story of a dream many girls who play softball or baseball have…a chance to play professionally. With every sentence I was imagining myself in Brenda’s shoes putting on the team jersey, tying up my cleats, and holding that ball in my hand in front of thousands of people.

I’ve never read a book, about baseball, that really touched my heart like this book did. Even in today’s society a woman playing professional baseball is unheard of and I think Petrone gave an accurate interpretation of how people might react. There were those who truly supported Brenda, but there were the “haters” who thought it an abomination having a woman play. Petrone also did an excellent job incorporating the emotions a single mother would have when taking on a job that requires a lot of travel in addition to having to deal with her ex-husband. If there was ever a Brenda to grace Major League baseball, she would change everything and be a part of something historical…something that would pave the way for others afterward.

Throw Like a Woman is about perseverance, courage, and strength.  It’s about knowing you’re part of something bigger than yourself and embracing every moment of it.  

I absolutely loved this book and would highly recommend it to those who enjoy reading women’s fiction and are baseball fans like myself.

An advance copy was generously provided through NetGalley for an honest review.


“She started to walk toward the grass then sprinted, just because she could.  Out of breath, she reached her arms up and out and spun around a few times, looking at the perfect blue sky above.  And then she screamed ‘Yeeeeeesss!’ as loudly as she could.”

“For a second, Brenda had an image of her father standing in front of her, holding a beat-up catcher’s mitt, an ancient catcher’s mask on the top of his head.  ‘If you can just make the four-seam fastball fly as it wants to fly, you could be…anything,’ he’d said to her.”





Susan Petrone’s short fiction has been published by Glimmer Train, Featherproof Books, Muse, Conclave, and Whiskey Island. She is the author of the novels Throw Like a Woman (2015, The Story Plant) and A Body at Rest (2009, Drinian Press), which won a bronze medal for regional fiction from the Independent Publishers Book Awards (IPPY). Her short story, “Monster Jones Wants to Creep You Out” (Conclave, 2010) was nominated for a 2011 Pushcart Prize. On the non-fiction side, Susan’s work has appeared on and, and she co-owns the Cleveland Indians blog,, for’s SweetSpot network.She holds a master’s degree in English with a concentration in Creative Writing from Cleveland State University and lives with one husband, one daughter, and far too many dogs in a little house near some medium-sized woods. (About the Author found on Susan’s website)

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Publishing Company: The Story Plant

Release Date: March 24, 2015

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Tagged: , , ,

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