They Were a Talented Team with a Near-Perfect Record. But for Five Straight Years, When it Came to The Crunch of the Playoffs, the Amherst Lady Hurricanes-A "Finesse" High-School Girls' Basketball Team of Nice Girls from A Nice Town-Somehow Lacked the Scrappy, Hard-Driving Desire to Go all the Way. Now, Led by the Strong Back-Court of All-American Jamila Wideman and Three-Point Specialist Jen Pariseau, and Playing beyond Their Personal Best, this is Their Year to Prove Themselves in the State Championships. Their Season to Test Their Passion for the Sport and Their loyalty to Each Other. Their Time to Discover Who they Really are. In These Girls, Hope is a Muscle is the Fierce, Funny, and Intimate look into the Minds and Hearts of one Group of Girls and Their Quest for Success and, Most Important of all, Respect.
When Pulitzer Prize-winner Blais pokes gentle fun at Amherst, Mass., where an infuriated teen-aged athlete in the heat of the fray may yell, ``You ignore your inner child!'' you suspect this will be a special book. And it is, as the reader follows the Amherst High girls basketball team-the Lady Hurricanes-in the 1992-93 season, from game one on December 15 to the final game on March 16, when they all but obliterated Haverhill, 74-36, to win the state championship. While this is the story of well-bred, upper-middle class, genteel girls who learned to be tough, it is also a picture of a changing period in American sports history, when a town rallied around its female athletes in a way that had previously been reserved for males. Alternately funny, exciting and moving, the book should be enjoyed not only by girls and women who have played sports but also those who wanted to but let themselves be discouraged. (Jan.)