‘Patch Scratching’ by Steven D. Powell; illustrated by Thomas Block; Maine Authors Publishing, Rockland, 2011; 288 pages, trade paperback, $14.95.
Steven Powell’s first novel “Patch Scratching” is a coming-of-age story about a Maine coast teenager, Jed, who has spent his boyhood having a family cobbled together around him after being abandoned by his mother and father. Jed from childhood is an up-early lobsterman and has a propensity for writing, which of course places him at a certain ungainly distance from the lobstering community where he lives.
By the time he’s a senior in high school, the complexities of his childhood close in on him, with legal ramifications and emotional crests.
“Patch Scratching” tells its story in straight-on, workmanlike prose whose quick narrative distance seems best suited to a teenage audience. Thomas Block’s competently made black and white illustrations of lobster boats and people in contemporary surroundings add a nice atmosphere to the pages.
Steven Powell lives in Thomaston.
“Patch Scratching” is available through www.stevendpowell.com and from online booksellers and many local bookstores on the midcoast.