Rebel Powers

Rebel Powers

by Richard Bausch
     
 

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Where does happiness come from? Connie Boudrenux is the wife of a decorated Vietnam War hero and the loving mother of two children. When her husband, Daniel, is sent to prison in far-off Wyoming for a petty crime, Connie is forced to carry the burden of family alone. Caring for the children while holding down a job proves bitterly difficult when the security of life… See more details below

Overview

Where does happiness come from? Connie Boudrenux is the wife of a decorated Vietnam War hero and the loving mother of two children. When her husband, Daniel, is sent to prison in far-off Wyoming for a petty crime, Connie is forced to carry the burden of family alone. Caring for the children while holding down a job proves bitterly difficult when the security of life on military bases has been cut away. How she confronts this change is the substance of Richard Bausch's powerful new novel. Were things in the Boudreaux family ever what they seemed to be? How do the secrets overheard in childhood alter our lives forever? Rebel Powers is an extraordinary drama that portrays the subtle and terrible psychological effects of war on a single family. It explores the shadows cast by passionate love, and the enduring ties of blood.

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.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780395595084
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
Publication date:
04/22/1993
Pages:
390
Product dimensions:
6.51(w) x 9.29(h) x 1.26(d)

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