FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- With a large chunk of guidance coming from a sight-impaired golfer, a troubled teen finds a better path through life in Tony Rosa's new golf novel, "Birdie" (Jackpot Press, $9.95, ISBN 978-0-9828225-5-5, 134 Pages, $3.95 Kindle e-book).
Mark Crowe has twenty-five weeks to turn his life around. At that point, he'll turn eighteen and all his problems will go away (so he thinks). But it will take more than just reaching a date on a calendar. Mark carries around a checkered past, has never known a stable home life, and believes all his problems originate from the neighboring golf course. He feels the odds are stacked against him and nobody is willing to give him a chance.
"Those who've read my first book, "The Schoolboy", will recall Mark Crowe as the antagonistic bully," says Tony Rosa, author of "Birdie". "Some might even go so far as to call him a hoodlum. But I think it's important and even interesting to show, that once you get to know him and understand his behavior, it's possible to change your initial perception."
For the most part, it's sight-impaired golfer Vic Adano that chips away at the rough aspects of Mark. He shares his time and homespun stories about the ups and downs of life and the healing powers of golf. He is a patient man. When his good advice falls short, Vic goes along with a proposed golf match in which Mark agrees to level out the competition by wearing a blindfold. The contest initiates a string of eye-opening events for Mark.
"Advice doesn't go far with Mark," says Rosa. "Everyone seems to be full of it. Mark can either avoid his problems or face them head on. Ultimately, what he gains is an understanding of whether the moves he makes are going forward or backward."
"Birdie" completes a trilogy of golf stories from Rosa that began with "The Schoolboy" and continued with "Two for Tee". "I didn't set out to write a trilogy," says Rosa. "But each of the teen characters paired together at a junior golf tournament had a coming-of-age story of their own waiting to be told. As for Mark Crowe, I think it's important for young readers to learn that first impressions aren't always correct and it's never too late to change your ways."
In "Birdie", scenes with Mark and his contemporaries, especially the nefarious neighbors, are missing. The reader only learns as much as Mark is willing to retell. Maybe that's a good thing; we may not like what we see in other situations. But one thing is for sure; Mark has never had what most would consider a loving, structured home with a positive role model. That is, until he meets Vic. Mark realizes that, "Vic could see better than anyone else he knew." It's an outlook he tries to adopt.
"Birdie" is a good read for golf aficionados of all ages. Teenage boys can relate to the main character and hopefully gain some insight into possible situations that influence how or why certain people behave as they do.
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