The Other Side of the Bridge
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From the author of the beloved #1 national bestseller Crow Lake comes an exceptional new novel of jealously, rivalry and the dangerous power of obsession.
Two brothers, Arthur and Jake Dunn, are the sons of a farmer in the mid-1930s, when life is tough and another world war is looming. Arthur is reticent, solid, dutiful and set to inherit the farm and his father’s character; Jake is younger, attractive, mercurial and dangerous to know – the family misfit. When a beautiful young woman comes into the community, the fragile balance of sibling rivalry tips over the edge.
Then there is Ian, the family’s next generation, and far too sure he knows the difference between right and wrong. By now it is the fifties, and the world has changed – a little, but not enough.
These two generations in the small town of Struan, Ontario, are tragically interlocked, linked by fate and community but separated by a war which devours its young men – its unimaginable horror reaching right into the heart of this remote corner of an empire. With her astonishing ability to turn the ratchet of tension slowly and delicately, Lawson builds their story to a shocking climax. Taut with apprehension, surprising us with moments of tenderness and humour, The Other Side of the Bridge is a compelling, humane and vividly evoked novel with an irresistible emotional undertow.
Arthur found himself staring down at the knife embedded in his foot. There was a surreal split second before the blood started to well up and then up it came, dark and thick as syrup.
Arthur looked at Jake and saw that he was staring at the knife. His expression was one of surprise, and this was something that Arthur wondered about later too. Was Jake surprised because he had never considered the possibility that he might be a less than perfect shot? Did he have that much confidence in himself, that little self-doubt?
Or was he merely surprised at how easy it was to give in to an impulse, and carry through the thought which lay in your mind? Simply to do whatever you wanted to do, and damn the consequences.
–from The Other Side of the Bridge
From the Hardcover edition.
their father would consider it a smart remark and Jake’s smart remarks made him mad. “Dont’cha want to come and watch, even?” “Not right now.” Jake slipped all the cards with faces into a certain order so fast you could hardly see his hands move. “I’m kind of busy. Later, maybe.” It was school he lived for. School and all the goings-on there, triumphs and disasters, friends and enemies. Especially enemies. “Look at it!” Jake said as they walked home together. He pulled a book out of his
“Poor lad.” Ian stared at his father. He couldn’t believe it. It couldn’t be over as quickly, as simply, as that. Gerry Moynihan said, “That’s it?” “Yes.” The doctor sighed, and stepped back. “You can let go, Ian. It’s no good.” Ian looked down at the man, who was still staring at the ceiling, who surely in a moment would blink, and finally draw a breath. “You can let go,” his father said again. “He’s gone.” He went over to the cupboard by the window, got out a sheet, brought it back to the
was nothing he could do. He nodded at Dieter/Bernhard and they turned the bed frame on its side and eased it through the doorway. The antlers were gone, of course. There was nothing to show that they had been there but a pockmarking of nail holes in the slatted wooden walls. “Over there, I guess,” Laura said. “Against that wall.” They put the bed against the wall. Arthur straightened up slowly. There had been no bodies; that was part of the problem. No funerals. Just memorial services. Which
left for him to think seriously about. The problem was, he’d crossed them all off. Every single one fell into one of three categories: predictable, boring, or ridiculous. “Have you decided what you’re going to do?” he said to Pete, startling himself because he hadn’t intended to ask until he’d made up his own mind. “When?” Pete said. “For the rest of your life.” “Oh. Yeah.” Ian looked at him surprise. “You have? When?” “A while ago.” “Why didn’t you tell me?” “I’ve been waitin’ for you to
remember what he did during the day, while his mother lay in bed and his father was out in the fields. He was too young for school so he must have played by himself. But he clearly remembered the day he heard his mother calling him from her room. He would have been just five at the time. He remembered hearing the panic in her voice, and the feeling in his stomach—a cold tightness, like the grip of a hand—as he ran up the stairs. His mother had her knees drawn up under the blankets. She looked