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Spark: a novel Paperback – January 29, 2013


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 228 pages
  • Publisher: Engine Books (January 29, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1938126041
  • ISBN-13: 978-1938126048
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,109,039 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Courtney Elizabeth Mauk received an MFA in Fiction from Columbia University and has published in The Literary Review, PANK, Wigleaf, and Superstition Review, among others. She is an assistant editor at Barrelhouse Magazine and teaches at The Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop. She lives in Manhattan with her husband.

More About the Author

Courtney Elizabeth Mauk was born in Rolla, Missouri, and grew up in Copley, Ohio. She received her MFA in Fiction from Columbia University and has published in The Literary Review, PANK, Wigleaf, Five Chapters, and Necessary Fiction, among others. She is an assistant editor at Barrelhouse and teaches with The Sackett Street Writers' Workshop. Courtney is the author of the novels SPARK (Engine Books, 2012) and ORION'S DAUGHTERS (Engine Books, 2014). She lives in Manhattan with her husband.

For more information, please visit www.courtneymauk.com.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 8 customer reviews
Rain is hedonistic, independent, full of love and life.
Myfanwy Collins
The scenes described by the author are alive and the relationships between the characters are intense as well as deep.
B. Brown
I truly enjoyed the book and highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys books and are interested in new authors.
TV Freak

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Myfanwy Collins on September 30, 2012
Format: Paperback
I picked up Courtney Elizabeth Mauk's debut novel SPARK in the early evening, expecting to read a few pages and did not put it down again until I had finished it three+ hours later. It's a glorious, fast-paced read, filled with beautiful language, tightly-written scenes, and unforgettable characters.

For all of her life, Andrea has known one thing for sure: she was born to save her brother's life. As such, she is the ultimate codependent, who only really comes to life when her brother is nearby so that she might save him. In fact, it seems as though she has been in a chrysalis all the years he has been away from her and it is not until he comes back into her life that her carefully wound, seemingly happy life, begins to unfurl. And then it begins to unwind and unwind it does.

At first, Andrea seems tentative about having her recovering pyromaniac brother to come and live with her and her boyfriend, and yet she prepares the apartment as one would do for a new infant; nesting and getting rid of anything that might cause him harm. Once he moves in, she takes things even farther, pushing away her boyfriend so that he might not do the harm she perceives him and his work capable of.

Essentially, she becomes her brother's mother and following in her own mother's footsteps; she is codependent, a helicopter parent. She does not and cannot exist without her brother and his disease.

She also cannot live without his fire. Even though he has spent the past 20 years reforming himself, she doesn't believe that he is truly healed and when the papers start reporting suspicious fires around the city, she convinces herself it is him. Even when she can find no proof in his room or on his person, she believes he is guilty.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By B. Brown on October 4, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I recommend this book if you like well written novels with great characters. Like me, you won't want it to end. The author involves us in the lives of the characters to the extent that it is very difficult to put down. I didn't even want to stop reading it when it ended. The scenes described by the author are alive and the relationships between the characters are intense as well as deep. This book will make an ideal movie. Read it.
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By Nan on August 17, 2013
Format: Paperback
This story is the best kind of writing. Unique characters who are sympathetic yet troubled constantly surprise. The brother/sister relationship is especially--and painfully--well captured. The story is filled with questions that never frustrate yet keep the story intriguing. Is Delphie losing her mind or gaining her individuality? This book's haunting quality is cinematic in its sweep and detail.
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By Kimberly on June 23, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great read for anyone interesting in paranoia and the psychological questions asked of a pyromaniac. Easy to connect with the protagonist and want to hear more.
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