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Rebel Powers

Rebel Powers

by Richard Bausch

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this flawlessly composed novel from the author of Violence , a Virginia bookstore owner recounts the dissolution of his family in the late 1960s. (Aug.)
Library Journal
The 1960s were a turbulent time in our history, and that turbulence, effectively captured in Bausch's sixth novel (after Mr. Field's Daughter , LJ 5/15/89), reflects the emotional chaos in the lives of his characters. Thomas Boudreaux, a divorced man in his early forties, seems to live a quiet, contented life as a bookstore owner in the coastal village of Asquahawk, Virginia. Yet he is haunted by the desire to understand the events that occurred in 1967, when, as a 17-year-old boy, his parents' marriage unraveled. Thomas uses a journal to help him piece together that humiliating and painful time, when his father, a career Air Force man and former POW, was caught stealing a government-issue typewriter and found guilty of writing bad checks. His mother, Connie, attempts to keep the family together by moving to Wyoming, where Thomas's father is imprisoned. Her decision, however, only magnifies the emotional suffering of each family member. Bausch's lyrical writing style makes for captivating reading.-- Marlene McCormack Lee, Drain Branch Lib., Roseburg, Ore.
David Cline
Bausch begins his sixth novel with his 17-year-old protagonist, Thomas Boudreaux, in uneasy rebellion against his father, an air force officer and one of the Vietnam War's first wounded. His decorations notwithstanding, Thomas' father is soon dishonorably discharged for stealing a typewriter and is sentenced to two years of hard labor. Thomas, his sister, and their mother are left behind to flounder into a new life of waiting and unease. "Rebel Powers", told in precise and steady detail, is the story of a nation and a family in crisis and of day-to-day struggles to survive. What America faces in Vietnam and at home, the Boudreaux face in their temporary living room. Thomas' memories--of the family's eventual trip to Wyoming to live just outside the prison gates, of his struggle toward manhood, of war protesters and war heroes glaring across prison yards--guide us through this harrowing world as through a mine field. Bausch's first-rate novel reveals a family and a nation trying painfully, desperately, to find themselves again.

Product Details

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.51(w) x 9.29(h) x 1.26(d)

Meet the Author

Equally at home with long or short fiction, prolific, award-winning novelist Richard Bausch a contemporary American writer whose work has often been compared to that of Ernest Hemingway.

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