Victoria H. (Minneapolis, MN)
Felt Rushed and Incomplete
I received this book as an ARC from BookBrowse.com. What attracted me to it in the first place was the publishers mention of Teri Coyne having a similar writing style to Jodi Picoult (an author whom I love). Whereas it is obvious Coyne has great potential as a writer, it is equally obvious that The Last Bridge is her first literary effort and a far cry from the more fully developed and engrossing plot lines of Picoults novels.
As I mentioned in my heading, the story felt really rushed. Coyne gets an A for gripping content (the first page of the book opens with the inexplicable suicide of the main characters mother) but she fails miserably with character development and consistency. Based on her descriptions at the beginning of the book, I spent a good bit of the story picturing the key people as run down, middle aged adults. However, I was thrown for a complete tail spin at the middle of the book when Coyne briefly mentions the main characters age as something like 27! She also breezes through some of the explanatory events so quickly that you almost feel like she lost interest in completing the book half way through writing it.
I will say it again, though; Coyne has a lot of potential. The Last Bridge was entertaining and despite the fact that it dealt with some very disturbing issues (incest, abuse, suicide, etc.) she did not let them consume the book. They acted more as subplots in a greater more complicated and intriguing story of self discovery.
Overall a decent read but it couldve been a lot better.
Christine M. (Weedsport, NY)
The Last Bridge
I started this book and thought I'd really like it, but as it got into the graphic sexual abuse ... well, it's just not something that I want to continue with. Sorry.
Mary J. (Scottsdale, AZ)
It had me from the first page!!
The Last Bridge was a truly moving and well written novel. It will grab you from the first page and hold you until the end. I am really pretty hard to please but I would recommend this novel to everyone. The only problem is - it leaves you wanting more. You become invested in Cat and the others.
Beatrice D. (Floral Park, New York)
The Last Bridge
Once you've read the opening sentence, you're hooked. I read this page-turner in two sittings. It is a somewhat soap opera-like story of pain; physical, emotional and sexual, experienced by this very dysfunctional family.
Cat,the narrator and central character is returning home after a ten year absence, during which time she was usually drunk. The chapters in the book alternate between incidents and events before she ran away and the present time when she and her siblings have come together for their mother's funeral.
Ms. Coyne alludes to circumstances that explain her parents' behavior,but they lack depth. I would have liked her to give us more insightful character development.
Kathy H. (Eaton, OH)
This book is an easy read that grabs you from the very beginning. It's a tough story to read because of the level of dysfunction but the way it weaves back and forth between the past and the present helps you understand the characters and why they react as they do. Some of the plot was predictable but there was still the question of who the "he" was that the mother mentioned in her suicide note and how this haunted Cat.
Kathleen W. (New Brighton,, MN)
The Last Bridge by Teri Coyne
The Last Bridge truly "had me at hello." The very first line of the book, "Two days after my father had a massive stroke, my mother shot herself in the head" begins a mesmerizing reading journey. While this opening line may affect some as garish, it is an all too real introduction to the author's masterful handling of this novels many levels of "bridge crossing." I was especially caught up with the narrator Alex whose sardonic wit gives honest witness to a life lived in turmoil.
This is a complex and compelling debut novel by Teri Coyne. While Tom Wolfe has told us that we can never go home again, it is also true that home starts your story and it is important to look back so that you can look ahead. Don't miss out on this one, Reader!
Patricia D. (Frankfort, IL)
An After School Special for Adults
In a suicide note to her daughter the mother writes "he isn't who you think he is". The rest of the story describes the daughter's attempts to figure out and come to terms with what that short sentence meant. Although I read the book in a day I can't say that it was a great read. It did keep me turning the pages, but in many ways the ending was predictable. I could envision this being made into a Lifetime TV movie of the week. If you're looking for something to read at the beach, this book would definitely qualify, but if you're looking for something more satisfying, read Burnt Shadows.