John Grisham's Bleachers

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Forgive - Don’t Forget Neely Crenshaw was the best high school quarterback to play for the Messina Spartans. The novel Bleachers, by John Grisham, is a story about his success at Messina and he struggles with his coach. Fifteen years have gone by since his last year as a Spartan, and Neely has come home to Messina to attend the funeral of Coach Eddie Rake, the coach who helped the Spartans win numerous state titles. Now, as Coach Rake’s past generations of players sit in the bleachers awaiting their old coach‘s passing, they gather their memories and tell their high school football stories, and try to decide once and for all whether they love Eddie Rake, or hate him. For Neely Crenshaw, it is time for him to decide if he can forgive his old coach and himself before he can speak at the funeral and get on with his life. Although Coach Eddie Rake never appears in the story, he is definitely the main character. He is a legend in Messina, having coached the high school…show more content…
Neely’s wife left him after suffering through two miscarriages and she had a hard time dealing with Neely’s constant bitterness. Now, Neely must not only forgive Coach Rake for all that he had done to him, but he must also forgive himself for his own bitterness, his weakness in being unable to give up football, and his cruelty to others around him. While sitting in the bleachers with his old friends, he leaves his bitter feelings for Coach Rake behind. As Coach Rake dies of cancer, the past is finally gone. The old bitter days left with Coach Eddie Rake and Neely‘s willingness to forgive. You see, being able to be a small town football hero is not true greatness, but being able to forgive and not forget life’s great lessons is truly
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