Spring Bear Reviews

Spring Bear Reviews

Ken­nebec Journal

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

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.

—Kirkus Discoveries

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