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By an award-winning writer of short fiction, a devastatingly powerful debut novel of hero-worship, first love, and betrayal
Justin Bailey is seventeen when he arrives at the shop of legendary muscle car mechanic Nick Campbell. Anguished and out of place among the students at his rural Connecticut high school, Justin finds in Nick, his captivating wife Mary Ann, and their world of miraculous machines the sense of family he has struggled to find at home.
But when Nick and Mary Ann's lives are struck by tragedy, Justin's own world is upended. Suddenly Nick, once celebrated for his mechanical genius, has lost his touch. Mary Ann, once tender and compassionate to her husband, has turned distant. As Justin tries to support his suffering mentor, he finds himself drawn toward the man's grieving wife. Torn apart by feelings of betrayal, Justin must choose between the man he admires more than his own father and the woman he yearns for.
A poignant and fiercely original debut, with moments of fast-paced suspense, Wayne Harrison's The Spark and The Drive is the unforgettable story of a young man forced to make an impossible decision—no matter the consequences.
WAYNE HARRISON is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop whose stories have appeared in The Atlantic, McSweeney’s, Ploughshares, and Narrative Magazine. One of his stories was selected for Best American Short Stories 2010 and his fiction has been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered. His short story collection Wrench was a finalist for the Iowa Book Award, the Serena McDonald Kennedy Award, and the Spokane Prize. He teaches writing at Oregon State University.