The Second Season

Narrated by Nicol Zanzarella
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Pub Date 27 Jul 2021 | Archive Date 08 Sep 2021

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Description

Ruth Devon starred for Georgetown Basketball back in college—until she injured her knee, married her coach, and found a new career calling games on the radio. Twenty years later, Ruth and her now-ex-husband, Lester, are two of the most famous faces in sports media. When Lester decides to retire from the announcers’ booth, Ruth goes after his job. If she gets it, she will be the first woman to call NBA games on national television.

For now, Ruth is reporting from the sideline of the NBA finals, immersed in the high-pressure spectacle of the post-season. But in a deserted locker room at halftime, Ruth makes a discovery that shatters her vision of her future. Instantly, she is torn between the two things she has always wanted most: the game and motherhood.

With warmth and incisive observation, Adrian brings to life the obsessions, emotions, and drama of fandom. The Second Season asks why, how, and whom we watch, while offering a rich and complicated account of motherhood, marriage, and ambition. Adrian’s character study of Ruth Devon illuminates a beautiful basketball mind—and the struggle of a woman who claims authority in a male-dominated world.

Ruth Devon starred for Georgetown Basketball back in college—until she injured her knee, married her coach, and found a new career calling games on the radio. Twenty years later, Ruth and her...


A Note From the Publisher

Emily Adrian is the author of several novels including Everything Here Is under Control. Originally from Portland, Oregon, Emily currently lives in New Haven, Connecticut with her husband, her son, and her dog named Hank.

Emily Adrian is the author of several novels including Everything Here Is under Control. Originally from Portland, Oregon, Emily currently lives in New Haven, Connecticut with her husband, her son...


Advance Praise

“To borrow a sports idiom, Emily Adrian really stuffs the stat sheet here. She writes as engagingly and insightfully about basketball and broadcasting as she does about work, love, friendship, ambition, motherhood, aging, and the power and frailty of the body. Smart, tough, passionate Ruth Devon is a winning protagonist, and her poignant story is both suspenseful and meditative. The Second Season is a terrific sports novel, yes, but it’s also just a terrific novel.”

-Chris Bachelder, author of The Throwback Special


“Sometimes it is scary reading Emily Adrian because she is honest in a way that hurts. She is brave and she is brutal. You don’t have to love basketball or care about motherhood to love this book, but this book will make you fall in love with both. I’m a goner; I will read anything she writes.”

-Rufi Thorpe, author of The Knockout Queen


“Sport and bodies and ambition, motherhood and womanhood and obsession: Emily Adrian’s The Second Season masterfully gets you inside the particular thrill of sport whether it was ever capable of thrilling you before, and, deftly and warmly, pulls off the extraordinary feat of forcing you to root for a complicated, unapologetically ambitious fortysomething woman who also happens to be a mom. I loved this novel for its alacrity and its humanity and its humor, its attention to the body, and its willingness to let its characters pursue impossible-seeming dreams.”

-Lynn Steger Strong, author of Want


“The spare, bold latest from Adrian follows a sportswriter as she reckons with middle age…Even the sports-averse will be caught up in the drama.”

-Publishers Weekly


“Those who have been waiting for a sports book with heart will devour the novel. The fresh story is enhanced by Adrian’s smooth, absorbing writing. A perfect pick for book clubs.”

-Booklist


“Four years ago, in an essay published right here at The Millions, I asked why there hasn’t been a Great American Basketball Novel yet. Well, there is now: The Second Season…Adrian writes with a knowledge and passion for the game, but fandom is not a prerequisite for falling in love with this brilliant, warm, and funny book.”

-The Millions


“To borrow a sports idiom, Emily Adrian really stuffs the stat sheet here. She writes as engagingly and insightfully about basketball and broadcasting as she does about work, love, friendship...


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Available Editions

EDITION Audiobook, Unabridged
ISBN 9781799931096
PRICE $16.95 (USD)
DURATION 7 Hours, 30 Minutes

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (AUDIO)

Average rating from 42 members


Featured Reviews

Ruth Devon was an basketball-player. Then she got injured and her player's career was over. She married her college coach and took a successful career as a basketball commentator and sideline reporter for the NBA. After 20 years she is divorced, with a doughter who is 21 years old and involved with a younger man. During the NBA Finals Ruth discover something and it force Ruth to decide what she wants in future. She is a woman working in a male profession. I was really touched at the end. I loved the story course of my love for sports competitions. I dreamed about the career like that and I saw in first person how it would have been my life if I could took her steps, Special thanks for an quick approval for this audiobook to Netgalley.com and Blackstone Publising.

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🎖After getting a knee-injury, Ruth married her college basketball coach and ended up becoming a successful basketball commentators and sideline reporter for the NBA. I love playing basketball but watching it was never really for me. I definitely want to now though! 🏆 I definitely was confused at times because it talked a whole bunch about basketball and I’m not too familiar with everything in regards to that sport. I did find some parts super interesting but some definitely left me confused (in a good way). 🎖 This book has such a great female main character and great representation on motherhood. I really enjoyed how it talked about Ruth in a male dominated field, basically telling you to do what you like to do. 🏆 A majority of this book takes place during the NBA finals, which was super entertaining. I was so intrigued and committed to the story. I could picture every moment too! I just loved the commitment Ruth gave to her family and her career. 🎖Overall this was such a quick and easy read. I had fun with it, even if it talked majorly about basketball!! Fast-paced with relatable characters, The Second Season was a great read! I can’t wait to read more from her. Thankfully the publisher also sent me her other novel! https://www.instagram.com/p/CR2UsdRLmIl/?utm_medium=copy_link

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Ruth Devon is a sideline reporter for the NBA. Her ex-husband is retiring from his job as a game analyst, which is Ruth's dream job. She puts her name in for consideration, but faces conflict as she considers her identity as a mother and her qualifications compared to other applicants, like the coach of one of the teams in the NBA finals. Despite her concerns, she is beloved by the players she interviews. She invests herself emotionally in the well-being of two players, who are best friends turned rivals. This book is not just for basketball fans. Emily Adrian handles complicated topics flawlessly. Any woman will be see a little bit of herself in Ruth's character and the decisions she's forced to make between her career and home life. Adrian's style of writing is addicting and clever. My only complaint is that it was sometimes unclear when a flashback was beginning or ending, so I often had to reread to understand what was happening at what time.

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What a fun and unique story! Set over the course of an NBA finals series (with some flashbacks), we follow Ruth as she navigates her complicated life juggling her job as a sideline analyst, her role as a mother, her younger boyfriend, and the desire to take her ex-husband's spot in the announcer booth after he retires next season. There was a lot more introspection on Ruth's end than I was expecting. She talks through the clash of her professional and personal aspirations and it was surprisingly refreshing to hear. I also really enjoyed how detailed the descriptions of the game were. I could see how some readers would find it tedious, but I feel like it gave a great look at how Ruth's brain works cataloging every detail of the players. Being able to listen to the game descriptions was even better and almost made me feel like I was listening to a game on the radio. Overall, enjoyable read!!

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There's so much to love in this fictional tale of Ruth Devon, a sideline reporter hoping (gunning?) to become the first woman to call NBA games on national television. I read The Second Season practically in one sitting, switching between the text and the audio (which was well-narrated by Nicol Zanzarella). I could have put it down around the halfway point but honestly, I just didn't want to. As a woman who's long felt a love of sports and journalism in my bones, this is very much the sort of book I'd find easy to love... or throw across the room in frustration. (I'm delighted that my feelings while reading were generally the former.) The book mostly takes place over the course of the NBA Finals (between the Cincinnati Wildcats and the Seattle Supersonics). I so enjoyed following Ruth on the job -- where her ex-husband also works -- as well as in her personal life. She has a daughter about to graduate high school and a boyfriend who wants to get married. Much of the writing was visceral: I could feel the action as if I were watching a real game, feel Ruth's experiences as if I were having them myself. There is one odd scene in which it's implied that boyfriends are watching the last game of the finals, while their girlfriends ask who they're seeing on screen and need to infer what it means to call the games. In a book that otherwise seemed to bat down misogyny around women in sports, it seemed out of place and more than a little off. (Ideally, it'll have already been rewritten and won't appear in the published text.) That and a few clunky spots aside, I loved my reading experience so much I'm rounding up from 4.5 to 5 stars. And because author Emily Adrian really stuck the landing.

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The Second Season is a very interesting story about a woman in a male dominated field, working with her ex-husband and finding the balance between her career and motherhood. Adrian does a great job drawing the reader in and connecting them to Ruth. Since I work in a male dominated industry, I understood some of Ruth's troubles. Every time something good happened to Ruth it seemed like something bad happened. Ruth has to decide what is most important to her. I am not a big sports fan but still enjoyed The Second Season. This is a character focused story. I recommend The Second Season to sports fans and fans of novels about family and working mothers. I listened to the audiobook narrated by Nicol Zanzarella and thought she did a great job bringing Ruth's character to life. Thank you Blackstone Publishing, Blackstone Audio and NetGalley for The Second Season.

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This is a story of 42 year old Ruth Devon, former basketball star turned first female sideline reporter for the NBA. She is a mother, who gets to spend very little time with her daughter. She works with her ex-husband who is an on-air analyst for the NBA and she is dating a man who wants this relationship to progress, but is younger than Ruth and might just want different things. Ultimately this a book about choices that Ruth has to make from her first on-air job, to the possibility to become the first female caller for the NBA when her ex announces his retirement. Ruth seems to be left always making these tough calls that she feels men never have to ultimately do. When she realizes a life altering discovery one night, her world is thrown into a tailspin. I enjoyed this book. Not everyone is going to agree with Ruth’s choices, but know that she went into each one with much consideration. She is a woman who absolutely wants it all, but at times very much feels like a failure. There was a lot of laughs, very heartwarming and it will make you think a lot. the cover makes it feel a little bit more lighthearted than maybe it really is. Definitely give this one a try, I think you will end up loving Ruth. Thank you NetGalley and Blackstone Publishing for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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This book was so good! Such a feel-good "life" story! I really liked Ruth and I love that she was determined to go after what she wanted no matter what. The writing was done very well. This was written so it is a fast fun read! Looking forward to more from this author!!

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The Second Season by Emily Adrian was an incredible audiobook! I’m not really a sports fan so I was hesitant about listening to seven and a half hours of a story about an NBA sideline reporter. This book was so much more than that. Protagonist Ruth Devon is a complicated, nuanced woman. She’s not perfect but she works incredibly hard and is driven. This one had me on the edge of my seat until the final buzzer sounded and I saw how it all played out. It’s a quick listen and would be a great read as well!!

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A Slam Dunk!⁣ ⁣ This story is about Ruth Devon who was a college basketball star from Georgetown. An injury had her in the sidelines, announcing games on radio, and married to her coach. Fast forward twenty years, now divorced, and Ruth vying to be the first NBA sports announcer on national television.⁣ ⁣ No one writes books about motherhood and the complexities of unconventional women’s roles like Emily Adrian does. ⁣ ⁣ The writing was masterful and deeply engrossing, where I was transported into the world of sports broadcasting and professional basketball. The heart of this novel was about ambition and motherhood, passion and strength, in a warm and poignant story. Audiobook narration was spot on and I felt that the voice narration truly embodied the character and made the book even more immersive and an enjoyable listen.

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