The following is an excerpt from a Brown Enough review, written by Molly Chenault, for the Emporia Gazette, July 20, 2018.
“Brown Enough” is the latest novel from Topeka author and former Emporian, Ken Ohm, whose other works include Spatzies and Brass BBs, Spirit of the Flint Hills, Ducks Across the Moon and more. This book promises to be another “home run” if you will.
Easy to read and fast-paced, “Brown Enough” will delight Emporians with its local history connection. The story is set in Emporia, which makes picking out the places where Kenny and the Bombers play easy. I loved finding names such as Peter Pan Park and Soden’s Grove among them. It would be easy to visit the locations mentioned, and the vivid descriptions made me want to get out and chase that history. It was also easy to tell that a massive amount of research had been done on the people, the area, and the time period. I really enjoyed reading the actual Emporia Gazette article snippets throughout the book.
The story, as you might have guessed, revolves largely around baseball. There are details of real baseball games played by this mixed-race baseball team called the Brown Bombers. If you don’t understand all the nuances of baseball, though, don’t worry. You’ll still be able to follow the plot and the details without having to look up the rules.
I really appreciated how Ohm made the game accessible to everyone. I also liked how Ohm didn’t gloss over the social implications of an all-black baseball team in a small town in the 1950s, and instead made an effort to portray all events, both good and bad.
If you’re looking to read a good historical fiction novel that makes you want to learn more about the town you live in and the history all around you, then pick up a copy of Brown Enough at Ellen Plumb’s City Bookstore, or find it at the Emporia Public Library.