by Al Price

"When you live your life on the ethereal plane, there is always a way to succeed or win."

In 1983, 17-year-old Aeamon Lee is determined to make the Ole Miss football team as a walk-on prospect. Growing up in rural Mississippi, Aeamon Lee is a resourceful, spirited young man destined for greatness despite his humble beginnings. He works on the family farm and takes over most of the responsibilities when his father is crippled from an accident. He also builds a strong bond with the African American family that lives nearby, befriending their son Jo-Nathan. The two enjoy good times and bad in their last years of high school, and each takes different paths when Jo-Nathan joins the Marines while Aeamon Lee goes to Ole Miss. With a strong work ethic, a curious mind, and an optimistic outlook, Aeamon Lee’s journey to glory on the football field is a rousing portrait of adventure and friendship.

Principles of justice and fairness guide Aeamon Lee, and Price explores issues of race and economic inequality through his character’s experiences and encounters. He spins a coming-of-age narrative and combines it with a cinematic season of Ole Miss football as the freshman third-string quarterback, Aeamon Lee, takes over when the other two quarterbacks are injured. Aeamon Lee becomes a beacon of inspiration and celebration during the historic football season. With his penchant for philosophical quotes with biblical allusions, Aeamon Lee uplifts people around him and reproaches those who need it most. In one telling scene, he speaks out against the use of the Confederate flag to celebrate during the Ole Miss football games. Incisive and heartwarming, this story about friendship and self-determination is a nuanced take on race relations. The author illuminates a not often seen dynamic of equality and hope despite a palpable history of hate that arises in tense scenes as Aeamon Lee and Jo-Nathan encounter racism. Price balances the tragedy and the triumph in this hopeful story.

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