A girl from an Indian reservation turns out to be a phenomenal golfer and falls in love with one of her rich, white team members in this heartfelt, realistic exploration of prejudice.
Fred (Fredricka) has never taken a golf lesson, but her father works as the groundskeeper at a ritzy Phoenix-area country club, giving her access to its facilities. The local high school golf coach spots her talent and convinces her to join the varsity team—a change that involves kicking Seth off the team, a choice his best friend, Ryan, resents. Seth harbors deep prejudice against Native Americans and begins harassing Fred. Ryan, meanwhile, feels shame for what Seth does and tries to apologize. He finds himself falling for Fred, and she responds, enraging his current girlfriend. As the story progresses, things don’t look good for the star-crossed, constantly misunderstood pair. Both struggle with their own biases and, perhaps, will make different decisions about longstanding friendships. Fichera writes a book that stands well as a romance novel, but thankfully, she completely avoids tired romance-writing conventions, creating tension through the personality conflicts that abound as the bigotry already present in the high school pushes to the surface. Not just a Romeo and Juliet story, the book examines the conflicts of white versus Indian and rich versus poor, giving it far more heft than the average romance.
Bravo. (Romance. 12 & up)