Title: The Other Side of the Bridge
Author: Camron Wright
Publication: March 6, 2018
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)
Two coasts. Two strangers.
And a bridge that silently beckons them both.
Katie Connelly has lived in San Francisco all her life. Her late father made his career on the Golden Gate Bridge, and the many stories of how he saved jumpers still haunt her. And now her job assignment is to write about the history of the bridge—a history that includes a secret journal about a promise ring and a love story that may be the answer to her unresolved sorrow.
Meanwhile, Dave Riley, a marketing executive in New York, has sorrows of his own. Grasping at straws after tragedy strikes his family, he decides to follow a daydream that has turned into an obsession: to drive across the Golden Gate Bridge on a motorcycle on the Fourth of July.
Does the bridge somehow mysteriously hold the answers both Katie and Dave are looking for? Or will they find something completely different when they get to the other side?
**A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**
When my editor was approached by the publisher with this book she knew that I was something that I would read. I had previously read, reviewed and adored his book The Orphan Keeper.
The book revolves around just two characters. Katie a twenty-something woman who lives in San Francisco and sticks with things that she knows and makes her comfortable. She admits she is socially awkward and scares men away. The other character is David Riley. David is approaching 40. He loves his wife and three kids but feels trapped in his job sometimes. He starts to question everything. All of this is shattered when driving along a road with his family. A boulder falls into the road and before he can do anything the rock slams into the wheel of their van and pushes it over the embankment. When David finally wakes up out of a coma his best friend from work tells him that he is the only survivor. He falls into a deep depression. Katie is working doing her grad work for another degree. She is tasked with researching the Golden Gate Bridge, She is very familiar with it. Her father was an ironworker on the bridge and would volunteer his time to talk people off the ledge from committing suicide. One night he wasn’t lucky. A man he was saving slipped and pulled him with him. Since then Katie has problems with it. When she is extra down she goes and talks to her father as she walks to the bridge alone. However, she decides to take the research project anyway. Back with Dave, he still is having trouble coming to grips with his families untimely death. When he finally goes back to work, people are shocked by his appearance. His hair is shaggy, he has stubble, and his clothes just look sloppy. He hasn’t cut his hair and the only person who ever did it was his wife. Things eventually turn around when a job comes across his desk for a motorcycle rebrand. He desperately wants it. Maybe this will finally help him pull himself out of his deep hole. Katie is deep in her research. She really doesn’t have far to go since her father has shelves and shelves of bridge history. Her interest is piqued when she finds a journal filled with drawings and notes about the bridge written by an Irish immigrant named Partick O’Riley. She sees notes in the margin from her father trying to locate the family. Katie makes it her goal to find them. Will Dave pull himself out of the depression he has sunken into and find happiness and purpose again? Will Katie let this journal take over every waking moment? Will she find the rightful owner of the journal?
This book consumed me. It made me sob when the family dies. It has made me think about how we deal with grief. I think it hit maybe a little too close too home. My sister died a few years ago and I guess I grieved but maybe there is that slight cloud hanging over me. This book helped me to realize some of that. The authors note at the end states that this story is based on true events but he embellished them slightly. The author wrote about two very different characters dealing with their grief. One of them has a fresh raw grief factor as his family just died. The other has been harboring her grief, coming to terms with it but not really wanting to do anything with it. The book is deep and heartfelt. I did finally figure the mystery out about 3/4 of the way through and I giggled with delight when I found out I was right. While it is probably not the typical tool to help with grief and the death of family but I would definitely recommend this book to anyone. I will be reading any book I can find by this author.
STAR RATING: 5/5
The Other Side of the Bridge by Camron Right is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and a bookstore near you. Make sure to add it to your To Reads list on Goodreads and leave feedback for the author when you are finished. Also check out more books from Camron Right, including our review of The Orphan Keeper. You can find all of his books HERE!