Blind Your Ponies (Paperback)
If you check out the reviews on Goodreads.com or Librarything.com you
will find that most have something snotty or snobby to say about this
book, like "sappy", "purple prose", and "predictable", and usually
comment on the lack of editing... yet give it high marks for characters
and relationships, drama, inspiration, and setting. "This book spreads
its energy and passion with very little help. Fueled by characters you
don't want to leave and a story of contemporary Montana you don't want
February 2011 Indie Next List
“Blind Your Ponies is a book about basketball like Moby Dick is a book about a whale. Yes, there's basketball in the rundown town of Willow Creek, Montana, and a coach whose team has a dismal record of zero wins and 93 losses. When two new kids show up, they give Coach Sam Pickett and everybody else new hope, despite adversities galore. Humor, compassion, and perseverance rise from every page as these all too real people grow in trust, confidence, and understanding. The story is triumphant but never schmalzy, preachy or satisfied with the cheap heartstring tug. The writing is pure and beautiful.”
— Valerie Ryan, Cannon Beach Book Company, Cannon Beach, OR
Hope is hard to come by in the hard-luck town of Willow Creek. Sam Pickett and five young men are about to change that.
Sam Pickett never expected to settle in this dried-up shell of a town on the western edge of the world. He's come here to hide from the violence and madness that have shattered his life, but what he finds is what he least expects. There's a spirit that endures in Willow Creek, Montana. It seems that every inhabitant of this forgotten outpost has a story, a reason for taking a detour to this place--or a reason for staying.
As the coach of the hapless high school basketball team (zero wins, ninety-three losses), Sam can't help but be moved by the bravery he witnesses in the everyday lives of people--including his own young players--bearing their sorrows and broken dreams. How do they carry on, believing in a future that seems to be based on the flimsiest of promises? Drawing on the strength of the boys on the team, sharing the hope they display despite insurmountable odds, Sam finally begins to see a future worth living.
Author Stanley Gordon West has filled the town of Willow Creek with characters so vividly cast that they become real as relatives, and their stories--so full of humor and passion, loss and determination--illuminate a path into the human heart.