- Publisher: Kathryn Publishing
- Available in: Paperback, Ebook
- ISBN: 978-0692636909
- Published: July 21, 2016
This story is about Brenda Nelson as a twelve-year-old and Brenda Nelson Bjorkman as a forty-three-year-old. It is about bullying, anorexia, friendships, competition, and first love in adolescence. And about mentoring, obesity, forgiving, and parenting in adulthood. With tennis as a metaphor for life, the novel volleys between the summers of 1975 and 2006. It documents the transition from adolescence to adulthood and the effect children have on adults and adults have on children. It exposes flaws in the flawless, weaknesses in the strongest, and it scrutinizes characters of both sexes with varying intellectual and physical abilities. Foremost among the characters is Brenda. Fatherless, living with a somewhat distant mother, she craves attention and affection. Yet as an adult, her compassion for her cognitively disabled daughter is exemplary. Al and Carrie, bright athletic teens, form a close bond and look ahead to their futures. Tom Carrabas, English teacher and tennis coach, uses the Socratic method to enlighten his students and players and is taught by them as well. And Joy, Brenda’s daughter, assimilates into the village of Oakbrook, Wisconsin, establishing herself as a Special Olympian. The book integrates the real histories of 1975 and 2006 with the fictional characters and events of And the Oaks Heard Them All, to give the novel its authenticity.