The Last Bridge

( 48 )

Overview

For ten years, Alexandra ?Cat? Rucker has been on the run from her past. But a sudden call from an old neighbor forces Cat to return to her Ohio hometown?and to the family she never intended to see again. Cat?s mother is dead, and she?s left a disturbing and confusing suicide note that reads: Cat, He isn?t who you think he is. Mom xxxooo

    Seeking to unravel the mystery of her mother?s death, Cat must confront her past to discover who ?he? might be: Her tyrannical father, now in a coma after ...

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Overview

For ten years, Alexandra “Cat” Rucker has been on the run from her past. But a sudden call from an old neighbor forces Cat to return to her Ohio hometown—and to the family she never intended to see again. Cat’s mother is dead, and she’s left a disturbing and confusing suicide note that reads: Cat, He isn’t who you think he is. Mom xxxooo

    Seeking to unravel the mystery of her mother’s death, Cat must confront her past to discover who “he” might be: Her tyrannical father, now in a coma after suffering a stroke? Her brother, Jared, named after her mother’s true love (who is also her father’s best friend)? Or Addison Watkins, Cat’s first and only love? Taut, gripping, and edgy, The Last Bridge is an intense tale of family secrets, darkest impulses, and deep-seated love.

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  • The Last Bridge
    The Last Bridge  

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Alexandra "Cat" Rucker hadn't seen her mother in ten years, but the suicide note written on lilac stationery was addressed to her: "Cat, He isn't who you think he is. Mom xxxoooo." Uncertain even about who "he" is, Cat is transfixed by the note and realizes immediately that she must uncover the meaning behind it. Of course, her search for the truth is not without risks; Cat had been running from the past for more than a decade already and she knew instinctively that by exposing closely held secrets she could wound herself irreparably. This debut novel probes deeply into family relationships, trauma, and love.
From the Publisher
“[A] compelling debut … Coyne's prose effortlessly carries the reader through a thorny history and into possible redemption.” —Publishers Weekly

“Teri Coyne grabbed me from the first page and never let me go. I read through the night until I came to the last lovely chapter. The Last Bridge is a whirlwind of a book.”—Amanda Eyre Ward, author of Forgive Me

“Teri Coyne has created a hypnotic portrait of an American family under attack from within, told with such unflinching honesty that you cannot take your eyes off the page. Not since Bastard Out of Carolina have we seen the breathtaking courage it takes to survive and triumph after paying the price of dark secrets corroding the heart of a family. Cat stings you with her caustic tongue, makes you laugh out loud with her wild humor, brings you to tears with the revelation of her trials, and finally lifts you to your feet as she fights her way free to love again. This is a tough, rewarding read you'll never forget.” —Jonis Agee, author of The River Wife

"Searing and authentic . . . Teri Coyne has created a compelling mystery, a family drama and a literary delight. Read the first page, and you won’t be able to put it down.”—Masha Hamilton, author of The Camel Bookmobile

“Thrumming with a desperate, malevolent intensity, Coyne’s debut novel is a psychological tour de force, a disturbing yet ultimately redemptive tale of the burden of secrets and the tenacity of love.”—Booklist

From the Hardcover edition.

Publishers Weekly

Coyne's compelling debut shines an unnerving light on the fallout from a childhood rooted in abuse. Alexandra "Cat" Rucker, an alcoholic strip club cocktail waitress, returns to her childhood home after her mother kills herself. She's been gone 10 years and is now uncomfortable around her brother, Jared, and sister, Wendy; while confronting her past, she also tries to discern the meaning of her mother's suicide note: "He isn't who you think he is." Alternating between the complicated present and the horrific past, Coyne portrays the myriad ways family members cope with abuse. Cat's mother lived in a world of her own; Cat, the oldest, bore the brunt of her father's attacks; Jared buried himself in school sports, occasionally coming to his sister's defense when it was safe to do so; and Wendy focused on being the perfect daughter. Then there's Addison Watkins, the son of a family friend who at once offered a haven and a challenge to teenage Cat. Though the occasional one-liners distract rather than enhance, Coyne's prose effortlessly carries the reader through a thorny history and into possible redemption. (July)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Reviews
A young woman engulfed by alcoholism is summoned home when her abusive father suffers a massive stroke and her mother kills herself. Narrator Alexandra, aka Cat, has only one friend-Jack Daniels. Now in her late 20s, she's been absent from Wilton, her small Ohio hometown, for ten years, working as a stripper and cocktail waitress, living in rundown motels. Back at the family farmhouse, Cat learns that her mother shot herself in the kitchen, first considerately masking off the walls with plastic, even putting her suicide note in a Ziploc bag. The note, addressed to Cat, says, "He isn't who you think he is." At first Cat assumes "he" is her now-comatose father. Younger sister Wendy and older brother Jared arrive for Mom's funeral; only Wendy inquires about Dad. That becomes understandable as the narrative alternates between the summer Cat turned 17 and the present. Slim, girly Wendy was her father's princess. He directed much of his hostility and aggression against tomboyish, overweight Cat, molesting her almost in plain sight while her mother retreated. As the inevitable deathbed confrontation with Dad looms, Cat drifts in and out of sobriety, refusing to recall the ultimate violation that exiled her from Wilton. Her alcoholic daze and denial provide justification for the withholding of several crucial revelations (though of course the underlying reason is to heighten suspense). Other story problems are not so handily sidestepped. Wouldn't a wife seek help after her husband chops off her fingertip, forcing the children to watch? Would an entire town stand by as a father drags his daughter out of an Elks Club dance by her hair? Although belief is sometimes beggared, economical storytellingand Cat's snarky rejoinders to every attempt at polite sanctimony keep disbelief as precariously suspended as the rickety footbridge Dad forces the family to walk for his own amusement. Coyne's sure-handed debut wrings new insight from the overexploited topics of incest and domestic violence.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345507327
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/25/2010
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 239
  • Sales rank: 615,749
  • Product dimensions: 5.34 (w) x 8.06 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

Teri Coyne is an alumna of New York University. In addition to writing fiction, Coyne wrote and performed stand-up comedy for many years. The Last Bridge is her first novel. She divides her time between New York City and the North Fork of Long Island.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Two days after my father had a massive stroke my mother shot herself in the head. Her suicide was a shock–not the fact that she killed herself but the way in which she did it. It was odd that my mother chose such a violent end to her own violent life. For someone who had endured years of torture at my father’s hand, I thought she would choose a more quiet way of leaving. Perhaps she would take pills and put herself to bed in a silk nightgown, or she’d walk naked into the ocean at sunset. Instead, she cleaned the house, changed the linens, stuffed the freezer full of food, and blew her head off with my father’s shotgun.

 Ruth Igby, the ugly neighbor down the road, passed the farm several times that weekend and noticed the garage door swinging open. Ruth assumed my mother was at the hospital taking care of my father and took it upon herself to close it. As she got closer to the house she noticed a light was on in the kitchen and thought my mother was home. There was a strong glare coming off the snow that had accumulated into large boulderlike masses against the sides of the house. Ruth couldn’t see anything until she shielded her eyes with her left hand and pressed her face against the side window. What she saw made her fall into the screen door and tear it loose from the top hinge. She grabbed the mesh for balance and ripped it from its frame, leaving it flapping in the wind. 

I didn’ t ask Ruth how she got my number or if she had called the others. I listened to her sedated slur, compliments of the town doctor, Joshua Kramer. “Not your Dr. Kramer,” she said. “His son. Remember Joshy?” 

I didn’t answer. 

“Even in the end your mother didn’t want to make a mess. She taped garbage bags to the walls of the kitchen and covered the stove with a drop cloth. She was always thinking about you kids.” 

“Right,” I said. 

I can’t imagine what my mother was thinking that Thursday afternoon in February as she pulled open the utility drawer and searched for the masking tape. Was she humming or listening to the radio? Was she thinking about Paris? Or heaven? Or her kids? Did she perform her final act the same way she washed the dishes or mashed potatoes? Was it part of her weekly to do’s? Did she scratch “Kill yourself” off the list, between “Call about furnace” and “Buy toilet paper”?

 When I was a little girl I asked my mother what she saw before she fell asleep. I asked in the hope she would say she saw me. She said, “I don’t see anything. I’m too tired.” She was always so goddamned tired. She moved through the chores of her life like she was sleepwalking. It’s no wonder she chose to end her life. What didn’t make sense was the timing. Why would she do it now that she was so close to being released from her life sentence with my father? Maybe that was the problem. Maybe she couldn’t imagine a life without torment. 

I wish I could ask her what she saw before she pulled the trigger. I don’ t need her to say she saw me. I want to know she saw something. That she felt something. And that it felt like freedom. And then, if I could, I would ask her what that felt like. I drove through the night, stopping only to pee or to replenish my stash. I had been driving for ten long hours before I started seeing signs for Wilton. The illuminated exits rolled by like months being torn from my life’s calendar. Ten years had passed since I had seen or spoken to my mother. I only wished it had been that long since I had thought about my life here. I felt the craving again, like hunger but more urgent. I reached under the passenger seat and grabbed the bottle of bourbon I hid for emergencies. I took a long hot swig and pulled off the highway and onto County Road 48.

 I found the farm easily. I could find our house of horrors in the middle of a blinding snowstorm.

 I turned left onto the dirt path that led to our driveway and saw the big white house standing on top of a rounded hill skirted by snow-covered fields. A few of the green shutters had fallen from their hinges, and in spite of what looked like a new paint job, the place was daunting, like a man standing with his arms on his hips daring you to knock him over.

 Hal White, the local sheriff, was leaning against his patrol car sipping a jumbo cup of 7-Eleven coffee and chomping on a doughnut when I pulled up. I had called ahead as Ruth had instructed and asked him to meet me. I got out of the car and lost my balance from too much sitting and drinking. I steadied myself and popped a Tic Tac in my mouth. Hal tossed what was left of his coffee into my mother’s prized geranium bed and headed toward me. I hadn’ t seen him since he tried to feel me up at a high school football game the year everything ended. I thought of his callused hands grabbing at my bra as he wiped his sugarcoated fingers across his regulation starched sheriff’s pants.

 “Hey, Cat,” he said, walking with a policeman’s swagger, as if the gun were between his legs and not at his side. “Sorry about your mom.” He took his hat off and tossed it in his hands. He was as wide as he was tall and had a pebble-colored beard that clung to the edge of his jaw like gravel on the side of the highway.

 “Thanks,” I said. Cat is my nickname. It’s short for Alley Cat. My real name is Alexandra but my family used to call me Ally. Then my sister, Wendy, called me Alley Cat and then just Cat. After a while, I was known in Wilton as Cat.

 “Listen, why don’t we do the coroner first, then you’ll have time alone in the house. I’ll drive.” He climbed into his car and pushed a pile of folders and crumpled-up paper from the passenger seat to the floor. He leaned across the seat and opened the passenger door. “Sorry about the mess. This is the only place I get to live like a bachelor!” He smiled, revealing a gold cap on one of his inner teeth. I leaned into the car and tried my best to focus on Hal and not the crap he was trying to make disappear. 

“I’ll be right with you. I have to use the bathroom.” I started for the house. The screen door was leaning off to the side with torn mesh waffling in the breeze.

 “No!” Hal shouted, running after me. I stopped and felt the crunch of ice under my feet. For the first time since I got out of the car I realized I was not dressed for the harshness of the weather. After I got the call I threw on a ratty old sweater and a pair of dirty jeans and slid on my cowboy boots. My feet were so cold I wondered if I had remembered socks. The air against my cheeks felt like small brittle twigs scratching me. I wrapped my arms around myself and felt colder. Hal ran up in front of me, blocking my way to the door.

 “Don’t do this alone,” he said, dangling the keys in front of me as I tried the door. 

I stepped aside. Hal tried a series of keys until he found the one that fit. The door still stuck and required a shove before opening. A rush of heat carried the ghost smells of coffee and cinnamon cake. “I guess Ruth told you there wasn’t a lot of cleanup. Your mother made it easy.” I was waiting for him to say that he wished all suicide victims were as considerate, but he didn’t.

 I stepped into the tiny mudroom facing the kitchen. Hal walked in and dropped the keys on the table that was covered with the same rooster-patterned oilcloth that had been there when I was a kid.

 The room was alive. The clock above the pantry ticked, the radiator on the back wall hissed, and the floorboards creaked. Water dripping from the faucet into the sink clopped like horses walking on pavement. The sounds pressed against me like one heart resting on another, syncopating. 

The morning sun poured through the window over the sink, highlighting the spot where the yellow linoleum was worn thin from all the hours my mother stood washing dishes and looking out onto the fields. White flecks of dust swirled in the light. My mother called them fairies.

 “Let’s go,” I said. I stepped into the kitchen to wave him out. My need to leave overshadowed my need to pee. I was calculating how much bourbon I would need to come back later and stay. I wondered if there would ever be enough. 

“She left this.” Hal reached across the table and picked up a piece of lilac-colored stationery inside a ziplock bag and walked toward me with his hand out. 

“I don’t want to touch it if it’s evidence.” 

“Your mother did that to . . . keep the blood from getting on the note.” 

“Jesus Christ,” I said as I shook my head. “She put her suicide note in a ziplock bag?” 

“Pretty considerate, huh?” Hal said. 

“I was thinking along the lines of pretty sick,” I replied, pulling the zip open, leaving one side yellow and the other blue. I thought of the commercials challenging the many uses of the special “green” seal and wondered if Glad would get a chuckle out of this one. “Yes, folks, if you were going to blow your brains out, which bag would you choose for your suicide note?”

 “I’ll give you a moment,” Hal said, quietly brushing past me for the door.

 I looked up at the empty room, and then at the letter safely ensconced in its protective coating, and thought that a trip to the coroner would be easier. “Let’s go,” I said, dropping the bag onto the table while taking as few steps into the room as possible.

 I offered to follow Hal to the morgue in my car but he insisted on driving. “This way we can catch up,” he said, flashing a goldtinted smile. This was the first time he actually acknowledged that we knew each other.

 “Great,” I said, wishing I had put a small bottle of something in my purse.

 “You’re never going to guess who I married.” We pulled off the dirt road that led to our farm and the Igbys’. “Do you want a hint?” he said, turning onto the main road of town. Murphy’s Five and Dime was now a Kmart Express. Benny’ s coffee shop was a Dunkin’ Donuts, and the sidewalks that used to be so wide you could ride a bike down the middle without knocking anyone over had been turned into parking spaces. Main Street had turned into the main strip. Outside the 7-Eleven, which used to be Sammy’s Stop-n-Sip, kids in clown-sized pants rocked back and forth on skateboards, bummed cigarettes from one another, and coerced strangers to buy them beer. Some things don’t change.

 “Ginger LaCooke,” he said, and then looked at me like the name was supposed to mean something. I shook my head.

 “Don’t you remember Ginger LaCooke?”

 “Nope,” I said, staring at the boarded-up Tastee Freez, where my sister, Wendy, had her first French kiss and I had my first French custard. 

“Ginger LaCooke was on the cheering squad. She wore the mascot uniform for football games, remember?” 

“Yeah,” I said, resisting the memory. “Are we almost there?” 

“It’s ahead,” he said, pointing to a squat cinder-block building in the distance. “I’m sorry, here I am going on and here you are–” 

“She was one of the Purple Possums.” 

“Huh?” He pulled into the parking lot of the county coroner’s office. 

“She was the Head Possum, the one with the powder puff on her ass.” 

“Oh, right. Yeah,” he chuckled. “Good for you, you remember!” 

“Yeah, good for me,” I said, getting out of the car. I sighed, imagining what ten years and a shotgun had done to change the look of my mother. 

I was cold despite the wall of heat bearing down on me as we entered the county morgue. Hal had called ahead to tell the coroner we were coming. He was waiting at the door and introduced himself as Andrew Reilly, County Coroner, like he was auditioning for the role. He didn’t shake my hand so much as cradle it. I guess that was meant to comfort me but, like his introduction, it seemed like something he read you were supposed to do. The only thing comforting about him was his voice. He had an even, relaxed tone that could lull you to sleep. 

“She’s down this way,” he said as our footsteps echoed in the gray hall. Hal was trailing a few paces behind, as the corridor wasn’t wide enough for three people and his hat. “I know this must be difficult. What I usually tell people in these circumstances is to . . .” Andrew Reilly, County Coroner, rattled on about what one could expect, as if one can be prepared. He was tall and flush with the orange color of a winter tan, not in the least bit crusty and bald, like I figured someone who hung out with corpses would be. Hal followed us so closely I was afraid he would slide up my ass if I stopped suddenly. 

The end of the hall was punctuated by two silver metal doors. We stopped together as Andrew stepped forward and pushed a button that opened them. He led Hal and me into a small puce room filled with empty metal tables. “Your mother’s over here,” he said. I followed the movement of his arm as it arched toward her table as if he were a maître d’ uniting me with my dinner partner. For a moment, hearing someone say, “Your mother’s over here,” I thought she was waiting for me in a chair, with her purse resting on her lap. 

“Hey, Mom,” I would say, and smile the smile I saved for her and my school picture. 

“Miss Rucker, over here,” the coroner whispered to me, guiding me gently by the elbow. 

She was in a bag. 

As I looked at the zippered closure I thought about how much she would approve of the container. Instead of “Ashes to ashes,” the preacher should say “Ziplock to ziplock.” 

“As soon as you can identify her, let us know,” the coroner whispered as he unzipped the bag and pulled down the sides. “Your impulse is to look at her face, but try not to. It’s in bad shape.” 

In bad shape? The woman put a shotgun in her mouth and express-mailed her brains to heaven. I think her face is in worse shape than bad. Christ, he made it sound like all she needed was a little powder and lipstick. 

I didn’t have to look at her face to know it was my mother. I didn’t even have to look any farther than her left hand that was dangling off the metal table. I nodded and turned away. 

“That’ s her,” I said. 

“How do you know?” the coroner asked. 

“The wedding band,” Hal answered, looking at me for confirmation. 

“The tip of her ring finger,” I said. 

Both men looked closely. “Ah,” they said in unison as they noticed my mother’s finger was missing the first joint and nail bed. 

“Was that a birth defect?” Hal said. 

“No . . . marriage,” I replied, searching my bag for a cigarette. 

“My mother tried to leave my father once. He found her, brought her home, and cut the tip of her finger off. He told her if she ever tried to leave again, he would cut her hand off. Needless to say, she never left after that. Anybody have a light?” 

From the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 48 )
Rating Distribution

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(18)

4 Star

(16)

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(10)

2 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 48 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    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 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.

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2009

    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.

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2013

    Great New Aurhor

    This book was very well written, characters are strong. I had to keep reading. If I was to find a flaw, it would be that I felt the author a bit afraid to really address the issue of abuse, afraid to maybe upset readers? Maybe her publicist told her to lighten up a bit....not sure. But it is a strong book, well worth the read. I couldn't put it down. I want to read her next novel.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2012

    I couldn't put this down!

    I really loved this book! It had me from the very first page, and I couldnt put it down. I would totally reccommend this book. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did :)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 24, 2011

    Very good debut novel

    I wish this book had developed the characters just a skip farther, but overall I enoyed this book. The pace of the story is nice and suits the interactions between Addison and Cat are vivid. I actually think one of the truest moments in the novel is the sister's comment and the dessert interaction at the dinner table. The simple interaction between the sisters revealed the complexity of experiences in a family. I also liked the book's webiste!

    1 out of 1 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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  • Posted December 20, 2009

    The Last Bridge - Great Book!

    I have never read any of Teri Coyne's novels before. This book was very good. It is very dramatic. The narrator of the story is an alcoholic trying to escape from her past. It is very easy to get into this book and feel for this character. I believe Coyne did an excellent job on unraveling the past events of the main character within the novel. This book would be excellent for topical conversation or a book club. Of course, I would not recommend this book to teens because of the disturbing sexual content and some bad language in the book.

    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 September 30, 2013

    Have every opportunity to be an amazing book but just ended kind off ....ehh....

    Charaters really could have used some, ANY, backstories. Never got a chance to feel anything about them. The premise was so good! If only we could've learned more

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  • Posted June 23, 2013

    Waiting expectantly for the Next Book

    I feel this is an excellent author waiting to break out. In "The Last Bridge," the plot and characters are all interesting, and the writing is good, but something seems slightly "off." While a novel is fiction, it should give us the feeling that it's really happening, and we are there to witness it as it unfolds. Some parts of this book did not achieve that for me, yet the book was compelling to the point that I wouldn't put it away until I finished it. I believe in this writer, and I will buy her next book. I think she has untapped talents that will amaze us with experience.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2013

    Trite

    I really didn't care about the characters at all; or like them even. As a matter of fact, I had trouble remembering who was who, esp. the men. The author drew out the story of the abuse as if it was some big secret when you knew from practically the beginning what was going on. Not worth the money, I was suprised it got so many good reviews.

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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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  • Posted January 25, 2013

    Good Read

    This book was pretty good, interesting characters, and a decent story plot. Quick read, but please be prepared for several disturbing events...

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  • Posted December 29, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I read this in one setting. In the beginning I was having a hard

    I read this in one setting. In the beginning I was having a hard time liking Cat, but as her story unfolded I couldn’t help feeling my heart break for her. I can’t recall a time where I have hated a mother or father in a novel this much in a long time. As a mother myself, this book just killed me.

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  • Posted December 14, 2012

    Good read

    I was hooked from the first page. This was an interesting book. Entertaining. Kept me interesting. Deep content but light reading. I enjoyed it.

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