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The Spark and the Drive

A Novel

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


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.

From Publishers Weekly

May 19, 2014 – It's 1985, and unpopular 17-year-old Justin Bailey lands an internship at Out of the Hole, a garage specializing in muscle cars in Waterbury, Conn. There, he's surrounded by a cast of gearheads and rubs elbows with Nick Campbell, the shop's owner and mechanical guru, who takes Justin under his wing. Working for Nick full-time after graduating high school, Justin entwines himself in his boss's life, befriending him, learning about the loss of Nick's toddler, and eventually having an affair with his wife, Mary Ann. Meanwhile, Justin and Nick take to drag racing an ultra-rare Corvette left at the shop after it's owner, a Miami drug dealer, is murdered. Money and lies pile up, and it isn't long before Nick confesses secrets to his prot g that force Justin to question their relationship. A tale of growing up Harrison's debut novel crackles with life, immersing the reader in the world of muscle cars while weaving a complex narrative that oscillates between the familiar and the unusual. A smart, insightful read.
The Spark and the Drive
View in iTunes
  • $7.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Literary
  • Published: Jul 15, 2014
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Seller: Macmillan
  • Print Length: 288 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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