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The Last Bridge

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

Compelling Debut

By looking at the cover of Teri Coyne's novel, nothing is given away. There is no way to know that within the pages of this debut novel is an intense, emotional story of a woman tortured by her past. Once you read this book, you can look again at the cover and even the...
By looking at the cover of Teri Coyne's novel, nothing is given away. There is no way to know that within the pages of this debut novel is an intense, emotional story of a woman tortured by her past. Once you read this book, you can look again at the cover and even the simplicity of it is understood.

THE LAST BRIDGE is the story of Alexandra "Cat" Rucker: abused, alcoholic, damaged. After being gone from her Ohio family home for ten years, she is forced to return when her mother commits a carefully planned suicide hours after her father suffers a critical stroke. For ten years Cat has been living with demons she isn't strong enough to face. Her sad life is a mix of booze, nightmares and self disgust.

As a child, Cat suffered at the hands of her father and swore that as soon as she made it through high school she would leave and never come back. She hated her father and kept all of the hurt and abuse inside. The plans she made to leave did happen, but not quite the way she thought. Her last night with her family turned out to be something ugly and traumatic with heartbreaking and frightening consequences that she has carried around with her ever since. Now she's back at her family home with her brother and sister, whom she's had no contact with and feeling very out of place. She tries to deal with her mother's suicide and her father's declining health at the same time that old family secrets are being revealed. Cat also has secrets of her own and questions that were left unanswered long ago after that last night on the bridge.

I don't want to give too much away but I will say that Cat's story is a difficult one to read. Teri Coyne's writing is bold, intense and holds nothing back. This is not a book for the faint at heart. From the beginning, Cat's self-destructive behavior and debilitating alcoholism is front and center. The story is told from her perspective both in present time and in flashbacks to her teenage years in alternating chapters.

Once I started reading THE LAST BRIDGE I found it very hard to put down. I wanted to keep going to see what would happen next. It is a dark and troubling story told in a precise manner. It's not filled with a lot of description and airy details. Teri Coyne paints a realistic picture of Cat's life as a lost soul. For some, it might be too dark, but I find myself drawn to these types of novels and appreciate the poignancy in them. As a debut novel this one is a winner in my opinion. At first, I didn't think I was going to like Cat. I couldn't relate to her alcoholism and her attitude, but the more I got to know her the more I liked her.

THE LAST BRIDGE has so many facets that make it truly engrossing: family; loss; sacrifice and even deep love. For all of those reasons, I would recommend it for your book club as well.

posted by BooksAndCooksFL on May 28, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

The most depressing read ever~

Writing style is acceptable, characters are boring. Just another story of a very disfunctional family~~but much more depressing than most. Not even a glimmer of happiness between the lines. Would not recommend.

posted by sparkylg on August 26, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2010

    Outstanding!

    I picked this book up so that I could take advantage of the 'Buy two get one Free' offer. This was my 3rd pick, my last choice. Was I totally shocked with this book. I loved it from the first page and could NOT put it down. I fell in love with Cat and her struggles with life. To tell what an impact this book will have on you, I finished this book a week ago and I still think of these characters. I can't wait for this author to write another book. This is my favorite book that I've read in along time!!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Great Read!!!!

    I loved this book, it was a deep look inside the lives of those who live in an abusive environment, both a tragedy and a love story.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2012

    Dark and Brooding...Best Read for Me!

    This story is engulfing. There are so many threads to piece together and many surprises. The character's pain is so very real it is hard not to want to fight for them. There are many dark points, but the recovery from them illuminates so much about the human spirit. I throughly enjoyed this read and you will, too. Pick it up for an interesting plot line, well-delveloped characters and a triumphant spirit that saves them all in the end!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 31, 2011

    Amazing

    About a month ago i found this book in the public library and i picked it upp to kill some time after school. I ended up buying this book to have it whenever i wanted to read it. No way did i expect anything the happened in this book from the family disfunction to the alchaholic problem. Even to her mysterious love life. Yes it has some sexual content but who cares it just adds that flare to the story. Other wise it was a amazing story and wish that there was more about her life after he story ends. ~Sid

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Great Short Read!

    I decided to read this book only after seeing the title. I though it sounded interesting. To be honest, I was quite pleased at the way it was written, easy to keep up with, enjoyable quirky charcters, and an overall good plot. Though the dysfunctional family plot has been overdone to death, this takes it to a whole new level of dysfunction. The main character is easy to identify with, though never having been in her situation, I can see why she turns to the bottle to drown out her problems. The secondary characters are easily likeable, (with the exception of Wendy and the abusive father) and the book is a quick read. I would recomend this to anyone who has some extra time on their hands and enjoys slightly depressing/uplifting books with a positive resolution!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 18, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Tackles some heavy social issies

    A decade has passed since then seventeen years old Alexandra "Cat" Rucker fled her abusive father. She has no plans of ever coming home as she earns a living as a cocktail waitress at a strip joint. However, the alcoholic Cat learns from a family neighbor back in Wilton, Ohio that her mom committed suicide leaving behind a cryptic message on stationary "Cat, He isn't who you think he is. Mom xxxoooo."

    Cat goes home to a cold reception from her siblings Jared and Wendy. None of the three has any idea what their mom meant while their father lies in a coma following a stroke. Meanwhile as Cat poorly faces her past; her first lover Addison Watkins offers her more than just condolences, but she only trusts alcohol.

    Cat is not a likable person, but makes the tale because of her alcoholic nastiness. Readers will understand her belligerence towards her siblings as her brother was a welcomed athlete and her sister the perfect obedient princess while she was disobedient, overweight and frumpy and the townsfolk chose to ignore her dad's abuse towards her and her mom (mindful of Kitty Genovese in 1964 Queens). Not an easy read with the focus on domestic violence and incest, but readers will want to cross the rickety Last Bridge to learn what traumas in her childhood made the quarrelsome adult Cat.

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2014

    amazing read

    Highly recommended. You will connect with the characters instantly!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2013

    Excellent

    Was hooked from the start. Fast read. Will read this again. Reminded me a bit of gillin flynn writing style.

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