This is one ‘powerful’ debut! Written with such empathy and understanding that one can easily imagine the author experienced this first hand, though I hope for her sake she didn’t.
The title of the novel is explained in the book on page 100. “Let’s just say this is the last bridge. I’ve burned all of the others. I have nowhere else to go.”
The protagonist of the novel is Alexandra ‘Cat’ Rucker. Living in New York working as a waitress in an ‘adult’ bar she is a young women with a tragic past, no self-esteem, and a critical alcohol problem. When Cat receives a telephone call from an old neighbor telling her of her mother’s suicide, she returns home to rural Ohio for the first time in ten years. Her mother has left a cryptic suicide note which states “Cat, he isn’t who you think he is.” In an attempt to decipher what her mother meant, Cat must confront her past.
Reunited with her sister and brother who return home for the funeral, she experiences chaotic emotions. When she left home she intended never to return. Now, the past is returning bringing with it such a degree of pain, that she feels she can’t go on. Cat is also reunited with her first love, and his presence in her life once again brings her no solace.
Cat is a protagonist I won’t soon forget. For a young woman of twenty-eight she has suffered more than any one woman should have. Although severely emotionally damaged, she is still very likeable. As you read you want to know more and thus you follow her through her turmoil.
“The last bridge” does not fall within any genre. It is general fiction at its finest. Worthy of a recommendation from Oprah, this title by first time novelist Teri Coyne is outstanding!