Book Review: Shattered by Frank Pastore

Title: Shattered: Struck Down, But Not Destroyed

Author: Frank Pastore; Ellen Vaughn

Publishers: Tyndale House Publishers

Category: Christian/Autobiographical

ISBN: 978-1-58997-611-5

Shattered is an autobiography or a memoir of Frank Pastore, a former professional baseball pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds. Although it is a coming of age story, in so many ways it is also a great love story. A story of the enduring love between Frank and Gina, a story of how the love of baseball brought a sort of redemption and a greater love story of how the love of Christ can change the identity of a man.

Raised in an abusive home environment, Frank was the awkward geek-child in school. He suffered humiliation from his peers and neglect from his mother. Baseball was more than just a sport, it was the passion which gave him a sense of belonging and an identity. The identity was distorted, but not for long. Through a teacher, his intellect was awakened and his confidence grew. Baseball was a lifeline, bringing many good things to Frank’s life, including Gina.

The book traces Frank’s struggles as he attempts to play baseball and obtain an ivy league education. It details his struggles as a young man with a conflicting sense of self. It also takes us through his elopement with the 16 year old Gina in a way that is both touching and humorous.

With the same touching humour, he recounts getting into the Major Leagues and all that came with it. Frank and Gina were living the American Dream. However, like all dreams, it all ended one day. This book deals with how Frank handled the end of his Major League dreams and how God used that to draw him close. Frank who was an atheist, finally embraced God. But even that came with its own heart break. Putting back the broken pieces of his life took the healing hand of God and it came in a way that was totally unexpected.

Reading this memoir brought a lot of encouragement to me. It made me realise that despite our pig headedness, God still finds a way to work out his beautiful plans for our lives.

I had a bit of a problem with the almost-18 year old Frank kissing a 13 year old Gina; that was just wrong in my mind and it kept popping up as I read through the book. Nevertheless, theirs is a sweet love story.

Tyndale House provided me with a complimentary copy of this book and I enjoyed reading every aspect of it.

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