The Night Gwen Stacy Died

Sarah Bruni. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $14.95 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-0-547-89816-2
In Bruni’s engaging debut, 17-year-old Sheila is bored by her life in smalltown Iowa, her only ambition a vague plan to escape to Paris when she has saved enough money from her job as a cashier at the local Sinclair gas station. A local cab driver who refers to himself as Peter Parker (Spider-Man’s alias outside the red-and-blue tights) offers a strange plan: he’ll rob the gas station, pretending to kidnap her in the process, and they’ll take the money and run away together. Sheila accepts, and flees with Peter to Chicago, where they begin a relationship and where Sheila takes on the name of Spider-Man’s first love, Gwen Stacy. But Peter has secrets that don’t relate to his chosen name: his grief over the death of his older brother, and his disturbing premonitory nightmares. Burdened by what the dreams portend, Peter feels responsible for saving the people in them, as Spider-Man felt responsible for Gwen Stacy. Despite an oddly swampy ending, the novel’s quirky tone and accessible themes of rescue and recovery make for a likeable read. Agent: Susan Golomb, the Susan Golomb Literary Agency. (July)
Reviewed on: 04/01/2013
Release date: 07/02/2013
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-0-547-89839-1
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