THE IVAN SPRUCE
By Gordon Zima
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A woman steps out of a steamy Yellowstone panorama into the perspective of another fisherman. She is Marta Senkova, daughter of high level Soviet officials. He is Jonathon Masters, New York engineering entrepreneur. Their fly rods, and then the intrigue of his special trout fly, are the first threads of the bond that draws him toward this beautiful, mercurial, girl. This bond will also pull him, and his men, into an orbit with her diplomat father that takes them inside a brotherhood of Western style expediters, a hidden vitality of the Soviets since Lenin, and then onto a central stage of the perestroika. Marta will also be in this collaboration of talents, and in a way that reawakens the bond between her father, Ivan Senkov, and her mother—the redoubtable Marta prototype, Natalia Senkova. This nose-poke of the Masters’ crew will provoke a massively impetuous put up or shut up gauntlet from the subterranean Soviet talents it has bumped into—a challenge that Jon Masters can’t untangle from the new trends Russian woman who matched him on a trout stream, and now is exercising her other intrigues on behalf of this new challenge—and love for the American man.
Gordon Zima trained as a chemical and mechanical engineer at Stanford and the California Institute of Technology. His engineering career is largely grounded in the defense laboratories of the West Coast of the USA, where he engaged materials problems in nuclear power plants, nuclear devices, and rocket and torpedo propulsion. As an Army Air Force weather officer in the Pacific during World War II, he served in Hawaii and Iwo Jima, and on Okinawa when Japan surrendered. In addition to The Ivan Spruce, he has written Nuk-Chuk Tales for children and young readers, as well as two adult novels: Other Whispers, a partial fiction of an engineer’s life; and The Red Garnet Sky, a story of Hannibal Barca of Carthage. He calls Pasadena, California his hometown and has lived for several years in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
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