Book Review: The Last Bridge – Teri Coyne

Title: The Last Bridge: A Novel
Author: Teri Coyne
ISBN: 9780345507310
Pages: 240
Release Date: July 28, 2009
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Summary:

Alexandra “Cat” Rucker hasn’t been home for ten years, but she returns to the small town of Wilton when she learns that her mother has shot herself in the head.  This occurred three days after Cat’s horribly abusive father had a stroke and ended up in the hospital in a coma.  Going home means that Cat must face the traumas of her past and come to terms with what she left behind.

Review:

When I picked up The Last Bridge, I expected a simple mystery based on the book’s description.  I was blindsided by the horrors this novel contains, but I also couldn’t put it down.  Coyne’s wonderful storytelling ability kept me hooked from beginning to end.  I pushed myself on, knowing that I couldn’t rest until I had learned the ending to Cat’s story.

Cat is such a broken character.  She is unable to deal with life because in a lot of ways, she left herself behind when she fled her hometown.  Though she got away from Wilton bodily, her heart and mind were still at home.  As a result, she drinks to cope with everyday life and is angry at the world for what she’s lost.  At the same time, though, she’s not an unpleasant character to read about.  Coyne does a wonderful job getting the reader into Cat’s head.  All I wanted, as this novel progressed, was for Cat to find some sort of peace and healing in her life.

The abuse in The Last Bridge is difficult, to say the least.  Coyne’s prose is crisp and precise, and she doesn’t shield the reader from the horrors of what Cat experiences.  At the same time, it’s not overdone or communicated in bad taste; Coyne does as much as she needs to in order to give the reader some sort of understanding of the terrible things Cat has been through.  It’s a dark novel, to say the least.

Despite the sadness and heartbreak I felt while reading The Last Bridge, I thought this book was exceptional.  While I can’t say I enjoyed the experience of reading it (considering what it was about), it was an amazing novel that I very highly recommend.  Despite the dark subject matter of the book, it’s not one that will drag you down or crush your spirits since the end message is one of healing and faith.  I cannot wait to see what Teri Coyne comes up with next.

Comments

  1. That certainly speaks for the writing if the topic is so dark but was still compelling. I just finished one like that.

  2. That certainly speaks for the writing if the topic is so dark but was still compelling. I just finished one like that.

  3. I know what you mean – it’s hard to say you enjoyed a book that deals with a difficult subject matter. This one sounds like it’s worth reading.

  4. I know what you mean – it’s hard to say you enjoyed a book that deals with a difficult subject matter. This one sounds like it’s worth reading.

  5. I agree with Sandy and Kathy above. Your review makes me want to try this one. I can see that the subject matter is dismal, but sometimes those books are well worth the effort. I’ve placed this on hold at my library.

  6. I agree with Sandy and Kathy above. Your review makes me want to try this one. I can see that the subject matter is dismal, but sometimes those books are well worth the effort. I’ve placed this on hold at my library.

  7. Enjoy might not be the right word, but appreciate probably is. I want to read this one now.

  8. Enjoy might not be the right word, but appreciate probably is. I want to read this one now.

  9. I put this on the tbr list some time ago but was never sure how badly I wanted to read it. Your review has convinced me to move it right up the list.

  10. I put this on the tbr list some time ago but was never sure how badly I wanted to read it. Your review has convinced me to move it right up the list.

  11. What an amazing review, well done. I almost started this last week but i’m a mood reader so chose something else. But your review makes it stay on the soon to be read list.

  12. What an amazing review, well done. I almost started this last week but i’m a mood reader so chose something else. But your review makes it stay on the soon to be read list.

  13. I really appreciate novels with difficult subject matter this one sounds like it is hard to read but worth it. Thanks for introducing it to me!

  14. I really appreciate novels with difficult subject matter this one sounds like it is hard to read but worth it. Thanks for introducing it to me!

  15. I thought this was a remarkable book, too. Wonderful review.

  16. I thought this was a remarkable book, too. Wonderful review.

  17. I received a surprise copy of this book awhile back, but I haven’t had a chance to read it. After reading your review, I’m looking forward to it. Sounds like a heavy, emotional book.

    –Anna
    Diary of an Eccentric

  18. I received a surprise copy of this book awhile back, but I haven’t had a chance to read it. After reading your review, I’m looking forward to it. Sounds like a heavy, emotional book.

    –Anna
    Diary of an Eccentric

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