I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical during the first few chapters of this book. A female football coach in a high school? That’s pretty risque even for a liberal school district. As a teacher, I really don’t see a school district making that leap–not because a woman can’t coach football but due to opening themselves up for a sexual harassment lawsuit if the coach walked into the locker room at the wrong moment which isn’t an issue in the novel due to all the assistant coaches being male. I commend Baltsar for tackling the issue of women entering careers and jobs that are socially labeled for men. Part of me wants to go out and read the two books about Charlie’s two female friends within male dominated jobs–beer distillery and MMA fighter. Actually, are becoming more common job for women unlike the female football coach.
Putting aside my doubts for the district–I enjoyed the novel much more than I thought I would. Perhaps even I held underlying prejudices against her for being raised by a single father college football coach. Charlie or Charlotte has been battling those same single minded issues since she began playing football in high school and later in college and a women’s pro team until taking a job with her father’s college team. She knows what she’s doing. To change from college to high school ball, is where Baltsar almost lost me. If Charlie didn’t have the sweetness and girlie personality mixed in with all that football strategy–I would’ve been done. Charlie is a charming character that people are drawn to even her rival–the assistant coach who thought the job was his.
At first Connor McGuire hates Charlie for the mere fact she has his job as head coach. Nevermind, the fact that Charlie is more qualified that the social studies teacher who only played for a few years in college before injury ended his career. Or that his circle of friends love her or that he can see her softer side. He defends her to the handful of players who make inappropriate comments–even if he’s ticked about losing out to her doesn’t give the kids a right to comment like that about any woman. It’s becoming increasingly hard to keep his lips off of her. Connor doesn’t do relationships. He only hooks-up with older women. No attachments. Charlie will want a relationship if the start something.
Can Connor get over his own hangups about relationships to commit to Charlie?
Will the community accept Charlie as the coach?
Can Charlie get the others to see how much of an impact she’s making on the team to keep her job?
Is there a way for her to be with Connor and not feel like she’s being used?