PURE SPRING by Brian Doyle


Age Range: 14 & up
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From one of Canada’s premier wordsmiths comes a smart, stand-alone sequel to the award winning Boy O’Boy (2004). Pure Spring is not only the name of the soft-drink company where 15-year-old Martin O’Boy is employed, it is also the time of the year that envelops this literary novel like a character. Set in Ottawa in the 1950s, the story focuses on the warm, tender relationship between Martin and his guardian Grandpa Rip, an elderly man who is wise and kind but whose mind is beginning to unravel. Martin’s present-day, first-person narration is interspersed with flashbacks written in the second-person that reveal the fate of his abusive, alcoholic father, depressed mother and mentally compromised twin brother. Like many multifaceted young-adult titles, this has some hiccups in the plotting but it never feels too busy. This is due in large part to Doyle’s wonderful sense of humor and his spare, eloquent style. In the end, Martin defeats a scary workplace villain, wins a pretty girl and even aids a former Russian spy. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: June 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-88899-774-6
Page count: 168pp
Publisher: Groundwood
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2007


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