Tuesday, May 7, 2013
The One-Way Bridge
Author: Cathie Pelletier
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark (May 7, 2013)
Cathie Pelletier draws readers back to the beloved town of Mattagash, a seemingly quiet New England outpost in Maine. Yet Mattagash is anything but tranquil. While its citizens bicker publicly over small-town theft or their neighbors' offensive mailboxes, they privately struggle through deeper life issues: scandal, loss, failed ambitions, and the scars of war.
Reaching across the vastness of America and into the jungles of Vietnam, The One-Way Bridge is an unforgettable portrait of loneliness, family, and community—and the kinds of changes we make for love.
This is a lovely Southern small town story set in the North. By that I mean it has the usual ingredients of the small town, character driven Southern story where all the people are a bit quirky and have those hidden little family secrets that often slowly eek out into the story as a mystery or event takes place. I claim it as Southern only in that that's the location where this type of story takes place most frequently, in my reviewing experience.
So saying all of that above, let's talk about the book itself and not what it reminded me of. It does have multiple characters that are interesting and quirky. A small time drug dealer about to freeze to death, a feud between a mailman and a local resident he has to deliver to, a woman that has decided to leave her husband for a variety of reasons, etc. etc. They all intersect with each other in small ways that create a whole picture. There's deep water running under surface pettiness and some of it bubbles to the surface while some remains festering underneath.
Stories that make you feel one way about a character then suddenly a deep secret is revealed, totally changing how you see them - this is where good writing comes into play.
Another bonus with multiple characters - if you can't connect with one, there's plenty more you will connect with, engaging you in the story until the very end.