Hope Points North
A compass is a very helpful tool—as long as its wielder knows the direction he wants to go. This wasn’t often the case in the sixties in America, when many felt directionless, with an unpopular war that had the country’s moral compass spinning. Hope Points North is a coming-of-age experience that takes place on Long Island during this turbulent period.
Chris McKellar is broke, a causality of the great recession, and contemplates selling his valuable compass. However, the tailsman leads him thirty years into his past, to the end of the sixties, and the end of his childhood.
Chris tells his coming of age story in a pragmatic voice that portrays his loss of innocence, when he and his two companions left on a journey to Grumman Aerospace to see the lunar module. However, a despicable preacher's secret motives cause an altercation that ends with the boys involved in the reverend's demise.
Of the three boys, Chris is the conventional one of the group—the glue that binds the troubled Teddy and smart, introverted Charlie together. The story is Chris’s adult recollection of the time when he, Teddy, and Charlie decide to travel on their own to Grumman Aerospace Company, the builders of the Lunar Excursion Model—the craft that will eventually deliver man to the moon.
With a detective in pursuit, the boys follow their compass, sailing Long Island Sound on a Lifeboat fueled by their hope to see the moon-bound module, and the desire to make sense of the world around them.
Kirkus Reviews says: "The author smartly builds his tale around the camaraderie of three close friends in 1960's Long Island. The novel provides a colorful journey back to a nearly forgotten time. The author's portraits of his Baby Boomer characters are spot -on as they seek to discover their true north. Spetta takes what could have been merely a quaint look back at the '60s and makes it into an unforgettable tale of enduring friendship."