Review: Spring Bear by Betsy Connor Bowen

I received this novella from the First Reads program at Goodreads. Spring Bear is the story of a girl called Evvie Mallow who lives in the small town of Soper’s Mills, Maine. Evvie’s father suffered bad head injuries in an accident which left him unable to speak or take care of himself, and her mother has become involved with another man – Lester Darrow, a surly, aggressive man who traps bears in the woods.

Evvie dreams of going to California and escaping from the poverty and misery of her home, but when she discovers that she’s pregnant it seems that her chance of a better life has disappeared.

This self-published book is Betsy Connor Bowen’s debut novel. She has achieved what she set out to do, which is to successfully convey the atmosphere of a small town in Maine. I’ve never been to Maine, and the way of life described in the book was very different from my own – in some ways, a simpler way of life but not without its own set of problems and challenges.

Although I could sympathise with Evvie’s sad, lonely existence, I didn’t really feel any connection to any of the other characters – I would have liked to have been able to get to know them in more depth. Maybe if it had been a longer novel, there would have been more opportunity for character development, but for a quick, short read this book was quite enjoyable.

Genre: General Fiction/Pages: 96/Publisher: Lonefeather Productions/Year: 2009/Source: Won from Goodreads

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