Brian Doyle Pure Spring

ISBN 13: 9780888997746

Pure Spring

3.15 avg rating
( 48 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780888997746: Pure Spring

In this eagerly awaited sequel to the award-winning Boy O'Boy, it’s spring in post-World War II Ottawa and Martin O’Boy has finally found a true home with Grampa Rip. Martin’s also found a job, working for the Pure Spring soft drink company. Best of all, he's in love with beautiful Gerty McDowell. But everything’s not perfect. Martin lied to kindly Mr. Mirsky, Pure Spring’s owner, to get the job. Grampa Rip’s brain increasingly goes missing. There’s that mysterious, yet oddly familiar, man in the park. Too, there are Martin’s memories; the sudden appearance of famed Soviet defector Igor Gouzensko; and Martin’s shady boss Randy. And worst of all, Gerty's grandfather is being robbed by Randy, with Martin forced to act as his accomplice. Martin’s happiness, his sense of duty, and his love for Gerty collide. Can he find his way through these dire developments? Brian Doyle’s fast-paced plot and vivid characterizations, along with the lively colloquial dialogue and period detail, create a rich historical portrait that confirms the author’s place as a master of the genre.

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 9 Up—This sequel to Boy O'Boy (Groundwood, 2004) is set in Canada during the Korean War. Martin O'Boy is now 15 and living with Grampa Rip, a friend's elderly grandfather, so he can care for him when "his brain goes away." Martin lies about his age in order to get a delivery job with the Pure Spring soft drink company. He is paired with mentally disturbed Randy, who steals from customers and subjects Martin to anti-Semitic rants and dirty stories. Randy discovers that Martin has lied about his age and blackmails him into silence about the thefts. When Martin falls in love with Gerty McDowell, the granddaughter of one of Randy's victims, he realizes he has to take action to make things right and to save his relationship with her. The narrative alternates between this story and flashbacks, showing what has happened to Martin's parents and his mentally ill twin brother. Although this book deals with some very serious themes of mental illness, alcoholism, and sexual misconduct, there are many humorous moments, and the book's message is ultimately one of redemption. Tough, smart Grampa Rip is a caring parental figure who guides and teaches Martin in a way his own father could not, and Gerty is a strong, clever young woman who inspires him to do what he knows is right. Not quite as bleak as its predecessor, this is a moving and often beautiful novel.—Kathleen E. Gruver, Burlington County Library, Westampton, NJ
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist:

It begins with a lie. Martin O'Boy, anxious to get a job with the Pure Spring soft-drink company, tells his prospective employer, kindly Mr. Mirsky, that he's 16 when, in fact, he's a year younger. He gets the job, but his lie leads to his being blackmailed by his immediate boss, who forces the boy to assist in a scheme to rob their customers. Set in the early 1950s in Ottawa, this historical novel is a sequel of sorts to Doyle's Boy O'Boy (2004) but can be read independently. Like the first, it's invested with a sense of innocence, is rich in period detail, and is redolent of Doyle's nostalgia for the good old days. Its introduction of the Soviet defector Igor Gouzenko lends the story the air of a Saturday morning movie serial. Although this will have more appeal to adults than to teens, Martin and his grandpa Rip are engaging characters, and Doyle fans will welcome his latest effort. Cart, Michael

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