Peter Hedges An Ocean iN Iowa

ISBN 13: 9780002257107

An Ocean iN Iowa

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9780002257107: An Ocean iN Iowa

In a small town in Iowa, Scotty Ocean has announced that seven is going to be his year. It does turn out to be his year, but not quite the one he had imagined. It is the year his mother abandons the family. At first, Scotty does astonishing things to get her to return. When he realizes she won't be coming back, he decides he must replace her. And when that proves impossible, he takes the dramatic step of trying to remain seven forever.
Funny, sad, and constantly surprising, An Ocean in Iowa explores the fragile contracts between parents and children and what it really means to grow up.

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In his first novel, What's Eating Gilbert Grape, author Peter Hedges constructed a coming-of-age-in-Iowa tale around his 24-year-old title character. In An Ocean in Iowa, Hedges's second novel, he returns once again to both Iowa and the theme of growing up, but this time his hero's age is in the single digits and the issues he faces have less to do with figuring out the rest of his life than making it to his next birthday. Seven-year-old Scotty Ocean lives a middle-class life in Des Moines with his strict father, a judge, his alcoholic mother, a failed artist, and his two older sisters. "Seven is going to be my year," he announces at the beginning of the novel, but when his mother abandons the family shortly after his birthday, Scotty's life begins to fall apart. He blames himself for her leaving and determines to be better. When that doesn't bring her back, he starts acting out at school, and finally embarks on a drastic course of action in order to remain seven forever. Even as he traces Scotty's disintegration, Hedges also follows his absent mother's alcoholic despair and his rigid father's increasingly desperate attempts to maintain control. Dark as the novel's themes are, the writing is leavened by considerable humor and a remarkable eye for detail.

By setting his novel in 1969, Hedges is able to draw on the considerable turmoil of the times as the Vietnam war, the women's movement, and fundamental changes in the family changed the fabric of American life--even in the Midwest. Peter Hedges has undertaken a real challenge in writing a convincing and interesting story about a year in the life of a young child; with An Ocean in Iowa he has largely succeeded.

About the Author:

Peter Hedges, the author of What's Eating Gilbert Grape, grew up in West Des Moines, Iowa. He now lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife and two children.

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Peter Hedges
Published by Flamingo (1998)
ISBN 10: 0002257106 ISBN 13: 9780002257107
New Paperback First Edition Quantity Available: 1
Irish Booksellers
(Rumford, ME, U.S.A.)

Book Description Flamingo, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0002257106

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