The Long Run

Leo Furey, Author . Shambhala/Trumpeter $22.95 (376p) ISBN 978-1-59030-411-2

In his debut novel, longtime Canadian English teacher Furey spins bleak material—orphans abused by sadistic priests—into a moving and uplifting story. Furey's tale takes place in a Newfoundland orphanage in the early 1960s. While the school is grim and the corporal punishment the students receive is brutal, the boys band together to create the families they all lack. The book is filled with vivid characters, like Oberstein, a bright Jewish kid who continually peppers priests with hypotheticals about church dogma, including whether spit could have baptismal uses. Hope is in short supply at the orphanage, and many of the boys fall victim to "the spells," dark periods of dread and depression. To create something to look forward to, a group of students decides secretly to train to run a marathon and they sneak out at night for training runs. The event creates a sense of drama and propels the story, but it also allows the boys to bond over a common cause. Inspirational without being mawkish, Furey's debut is a shoo-in for book clubs. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 08/21/2006
Release date: 11/01/2006
Paperback - 376 pages - 978-1-59030-528-7
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-1-55263-578-0
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