Justin Bailey is seventeen when he arrives at the shop of legendary muscle car mechanic Nick Campbell. Anguished and out of place among the students at his rural Connecticut high school, Justin finds in Nick, his captivating wife Mary Ann, and their world of miraculous machines the sense of family he has struggled to find at home. But when Nick and Mary Ann’s lives are struck by tragedy, Justin’s own world is upended. Suddenly Nick, once celebrated for his mechanical genius, has lost his touch. Mary Ann, once tender and compassionate to her husband, has turned distant. As Justin tries to support his suffering mentor, he finds himself drawn toward the man’s grieving wife. Torn apart by feelings of betrayal, Justin must choose between the man he admires more than his own father and the woman he yearns for.A poignant and fiercely original debut, with moments of fast-paced suspense, Wayne Harrison’s The Spark and The Drive is the unforgettable story of a young man forced to make an impossible decision—no matter the consequences.
Review: Devastating is right. This book has some really gut-wrenching scenarios brought alive by the author’s realistic and sympathetic voice. Justin is such a sweet naive idiot, you just want to shake him straight when he believes in love and goodness and happiness. The motivations are complicated and the results are complex — I highly recommend this book for people who like gritty fiction with real characters. (Or for people who like cars. I feel like I learned a little something about how to drive stick shifts from this book.)
Source: Advance copy from St. Martin’s Press