Finding Brendan

Phillip O'Connor, Author, Philip Oconnor, Author Summit Books $19.5 (0p) ISBN 978-0-671-73155-7
Eighteen-year-old Brendan Flynn is institutionalized after an abusive school principal decides that he's ``disruptive.'' Brendan is retarded, and even his protective father, a widower who runs a store 15 hours a day, can't rescue the youth from the state-operated community home where ``behavior modification therapy'' means putting residents in solitary confinement or forcing them to sit around naked as punishment. This beautiful, wrenching novel raises important questions about how society responds to those who are different. Brendan's romance with fellow patient Beatrice Dove, who joins him as a fugitive, makes for a touching love story with surprise comic touches. O'Conner ( Stealing Home ) advances the plot in the alternating voices of a score of motley characters, including an empathetic special-education teacher, authoritarian administrators, homeless people, a trucker with mob contacts and a battle-scarred Vietnam vet. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1991
Release date: 07/01/1991
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