— Cathy is the lead buyer at Tattered Cover
"Brewster is a novel so vividly
written with such a strong sense of time and place, upstate New York,
1968, that I just about had flashbacks as I devoured it. Jon and Ray are
mismatched best friends: Jon, a high school track star, Ray, a defiant
rebel and fighter, though both come from difficult home lives. The
Vietnam war and the draft loom large as the two sixteen year olds
struggle to negotiate their way toward adulthood, falling in love with
the same lovely girl and dealing with Ray's increasingly unpredictable
and violent father. Brewster is at once dark and sweet, a coming of age story that will resonate." ~Cathy Langer
August 2013 Indie Next List
“This is such a well written and well thought out book you will be drawn in from the first page. It is Brewster, New York, 1968, the peak of the Vietnam War, and 16 year old Jon Mosher, son of Jewish immigrants that escaped Europe in WW2 is searching for escape from a dead-end town and his guilt from his older brother's death. He meets Ray Cappicciano and together they struggle to make sense of their quickly changing world. Jon discovers his strength running track with his high school team, and Ray finds his strength in the fighting arena. Raw and brutal at times this poignant story's well drawn characters stay with you well after the book is closed. This will be among my top books for 2013.”
— Helen Markus, HearthFire Books of Evergreen, Evergreen, CO
The year is 1968. The world is changing, and sixteen-year-old Jon Mosher is determined to change with it. Racked by guilt over his older brother's childhood death and stuck in the dead-end town of Brewster, New York, he turns his rage into victories running track. Meanwhile, Ray Cappicciano, a rebel as gifted with his fists as Jon is with his feet, is trying to take care of his baby brother while staying out of the way of his abusive, ex-cop father. When Jon and Ray form a tight friendship, they find in each other everything they lack at home, but it's not until Ray falls in love with beautiful, headstrong Karen Dorsey that the three friends begin to dream of breaking away from Brewster for good. Freedom, however, has its price. As forces beyond their control begin to bear down on them, Jon sets off on the race of his life a race to redeem his past and save them all.
Mark Slouka's work has been called "relentlessly observant, miraculously expressive" (New York Times Book Review). Reverberating with compassion, heartache, and grace, Brewster is an unforgettable coming-of-age story from one of our most compelling novelists.
About the Author
Mark Slouka is the child of Czech immigrants himself, and draws on his personal experience and the inevitable intrusions of the past on the present. He is the author of the novel God s Fool, named a Best Book of the Year by the San Francisco Chronicle, the short story collection Lost Lake, a New York Times Notable Book in 1998, and the nonfiction work War of the Worlds. Three of his essays have been selected for inclusion in The Best American Essays, and his short story The Woodcarvers Tale won the National Magazine Award for fiction. He is a contributing editor at Harper s Magazine, and is currently the director for the writing program at the University of Chicago.