I was definitely moved with this one, although it was a completely different genre than the other two I read – a comedy and a murder mystery. This novel follows the lives of three people and how they intertwine. We first meet Patrick Evans, a professional golf player. He is the first in decades to win every major golf tournament in the same year, but he also lost his father that year. Patrick, or “Trick” as he’s known, grew up without a mother and only had his father to support him. Trick decides to give up the sport in totality and spend his time back home in Chatham, Massachusetts, refusing to speak to anyone in the media. With his PGA earnings, he bought a large home and lighthouse there, promising the townspeople that he would restore it and keep a developer from building more properties around the historic landmark.
Next up is Casper Quinlan, a successful blogger whose much older father needs help to transform his golf magazine. After other writers are unable to get an interview with Trick Evans, she jumps in for the challenge. She says, “I’ll do my best to uncork his story”, which is an ode to author Carlon’s podcast, Uncorking a Story. Casper aims to get the interview in time for the magazine’s upcoming Master’s edition, but would need it to be digital, something the magazine has not ventured into thus far.
Our third main character is Robert McMullen, a native of Chatham, who has not visited in thirty years. While living there, he lost his daughter at nineteen. She died during the birth of his grandson, and he chose not to return. Now, he was losing his wife of fifty years to lung cancer. He watched her decline, while being her primary caretaker.
Each of these three main characters has someone very close to them that help them get through the hurdles that they are forced to face. From a sort of sister to a hospice nurse, they had a sense of guidance. Casper runs into Trick at a mass after ninety minutes in Chatham and they head to open mic night at a town bar. Eventually they talk about what it’s like to lose someone, as Casper lost her best friend in a car accident as a teenager. Proposing a round of golf and a two-way conversation, Trick agrees to let Casper write a story on him.
Robert is also heading to Chatham with his wife’s hospice nurse. His wife had a dying wish that he go back to their old home that they were renting out to retrieve a personal belonging. He went back for his daughter’s necklace that his wife wanted to be buried with.
There is a bit more to each of these plots that I won’t give away, including Robert meeting Casper and Trick. There is clearly so much loss in this single novel. Carlon does a fantastic job of getting three different stories to connect so fluently. They all learn to cope with their losses and eventually heal, and a love blossoms.
This book is VERY reminiscent of the type of writing we see from Mitch Albom. As the proud owner of five of Albom’s novels, I can tell you that these two authors are on the same wavelength.
Get a copy of “Winning Streak” at Joseph Fox!