Spring Bear Reviews
Kennebec Journal reviewer Bill Bushnell wrote:
It is not often that a fiction writer can capture the complete, vivid flavor of a full story in less than 100 pages, but Betsy Connor Bowen has done it with her debut book, SPRING BEAR.
Although she has published numerous articles and made several short films, this is her first novel, a gripping Maine tale of “rich land, poor people, hard living.” This slender, self-published novella is a masterpiece of concise writing where every phrase and sentence is important. No words are wasted, yet she does not sacrifice the story’s plot, atmosphere, suspense or emotion for brevity. This is a grim story of a family falling apart under the weight of poverty, hard times, bad luck and worse decisions, and a young teenage girl’s desperate effort to make things right.
Evvie’s two life-determining decisions focus on the baby and Lester, and her actions are stunning and final — setting her up for a lifetime of guilt — but knowing she did the right thing in both cases. And only a kindly, perceptive game warden knows the truth. This is a fabulous story well told.
Bill Bushnell lives and writes in Harpswell, Maine.
© Bill Bushnell, Kennebec Journal ON BOOKS Sunday, November 15, 2009
Kirkus Discoveries wrote:
Survival of the fittest in a remote Maine village…Bowen’s roundly atmospheric setting nicely complements the slow-brewing tension among characters, offering as full a portrait of her intimate cast of characters as of the daily challenges of their class and naturalistic village ways…Engaging from the very first page. A potent backwoods tale.