“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
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.
“An ironically funny, high-stakes novel about a woman trying to become the first-ever female announcer in the NBA…With wit and verve, Adrian traces a dilemma familiar to many women: work or parenthood?…Absolutely irresistible, The Second Season is a fast-paced, fascinating character study. Readers of Emily Henry or Taylor Jenkins Reid are sure to love Emily Adrian.” —Shelf Awareness
“Adrian captures the experience of working women with impeccable nuance, touching on topics like imposter syndrome, sexist double standards, and the pressure to be a perfect mother and a successful working woman. Adrian’s latest isn’t just for basketball lovers; fans of the sport will enjoy the view of an eventful NBA season from the locker rooms and the sidelines, while non-sporty readers will enjoy the complex characters managing very public and sometimes messy lives.” —Library Journal
“Coupled with several NBA eye winks, The Second Season weaves an intriguing tale of ambition and family…I found the novel to be immensely readable, keenly accurate in its depiction of life inside the show-business beast, and a frankly welcomed look at this world from a non-male-centered perspective.” —The Athletic
“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
Emily Adrian is the author of two critically acclaimed young adult novels, Like It Never Happened and The Foreseeable Future, and two adult novels, Everything Here Is under Control and The Second Season. She lives in New Haven, Connecticut, with her husband, her son, and their dog, Hank.