SPRING BEAR found its audience one warm spring day in in this high school English class in Winthrop ME . It was one of the happiest days of my life. (I’m the lady on the left in the purple blouse, sitting on a desk). Those spectacular teenagers seated to the right either know someone like — or could themselves have been — my Evvie Mallow or Rich Parker. Connecting with them over a world I’d imagined and they’d come to know through the book was –um — sorry, I just can’t find words for it.
But they did. They wrote me letters. Here is some of what they said.
Armand Pelletier was my favorite character because I want to become a game warden.
First, I would have to say that I loved Spring Bear. It was hard for me to put the book down once I started to read it.
I really enjoyed this book it kept my attention throughout the whole thing. My favorite part was the part the explained the title…it showed how she [Evvie] would do anything to protect that child… That part made the book, the whole thing came together right at that very moment, I couldn’t have asked for a better climax in the story.
When you came into our class last week I was not sure what to expect, or how it would change how I saw the book, if it would change my outlook on it at all. I was wrong, hearing where the inspiration for a book came from and hearing it from the author instead of just guessing was a completely new process for me.
Your novella was one of the best reads I have in recent memory. I thought you brilliantly established lovable and sometime hated (in the case of Lester Darrow) characters. The brilliance comes in the form that they are simple yet complex, which makes them easily accessible. But perhaps the most relatable portion of it was Evvie Mallow. You managed to creat a protagonist that had to face many trials and tribulations, but still maintained the realism readers adore. This seems to be more and more uncommon as time moves forward, which is unfortunate.
If I could have the author of every book I have ever read come talk to me I think my knowledge of each book I have read would double.
One of the many things I liked about your book was how I was able to picture myself in Soper’s Mills even though it is a imaginary place. Coming from a family that is widespread and that live in small towns like Soper’s Mills, I was able to picture what Soper’s Mills looks like, such as the old general store and the two lane road going across town surrounded by an abundance of trees.
Another reason I loved your book is Evvie Mallow. Evvie is faced with problems that I can connect with. Though I will never have to deal with having to choose to keep a unborn baby or give it away to another family because I do not know the father; I will have and continue to deal with my parents controlling my life.
As a teen, I automatically connected with Evvie. It was easy to really understand her situation and kind of comprehend her reasoning for doing some of the things she does.
For the most part, I really enjoyed reading the book. I felt like it was written for high school students, but I later found out it was written for any age group. But it was definitely easy to connect with it being a teenage girl like Evvie. You made it pretty easy to get into the book. I felt like I was right there along with Evvie the whole time on her journey through some tough decisions in life.
(If you want to read what a few grownups have to say about the book, check out the Kirkus and Kennebec Journal reviews on amazon.)