The Toll Bridge

Overview

To escape the pressures of suffocating parents and a possessive girlfriend, seventeen-year-old Piers takes a job as a keeper of a toll bridge and its cottage. There he befriends Adam, a charismatic wayfarer who shows up one day and refuses to leave. He also befriends a girl named Tess, and soon he and Tess find themselves strangely attracted to Adam and falling under his spell. The three test their sexuality and the bonds of their friendship as they discover who they are—and aren’t—in a harrowing course of events...

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Overview

To escape the pressures of suffocating parents and a possessive girlfriend, seventeen-year-old Piers takes a job as a keeper of a toll bridge and its cottage. There he befriends Adam, a charismatic wayfarer who shows up one day and refuses to leave. He also befriends a girl named Tess, and soon he and Tess find themselves strangely attracted to Adam and falling under his spell. The three test their sexuality and the bonds of their friendship as they discover who they are—and aren’t—in a harrowing course of events that leaves all three wondering if you can ever really know anyone.
 
Like the other books in The Dance Sequence, The Toll Bridge can be read alone or as part of the series.

Taking a job as a toll-bridge collector to escape family pressures and discover who he is, seventeen-year-old Jan meets and befriends Adam and Tess and the three test their friendship as each faces a turning point in his and her life.

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Editorial Reviews

The ALAN Review - Ted Hipple
A marvelous wordsmith and magical storyteller, English author Aidan Chambers has again written a compelling novel that sophisticated adolescents and their mentors will love. As in his previous books (Breaktime, Dance on My Grave, and N.I.K.: Now I Know), Chambers dazzles readers with exciting sentences and paragraphs that snap, crackle, and pop. He's especially talented in creating dialogue among witty teens who clearly cherish language as much as he does. In The Toll Bridge, protagonist Piers has left his overbearing family and girlfriend to go to a rural area and tend a toll bridge, living alone in an adjacent cottage. There he meets Tess and, later, the mysterious Adam, and this threesome becomes enmeshed in a drama that leaves them - and readers - more than a bit breathless. I recommend this book highly. It is splendid.
School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up

Piers, 17, escapes his overbearing parents and clinging girlfriend, Gill, by taking a job running a toll bridge on a rural British estate. His solitude is shattered by the sudden intrusion of enigmatic Adam, who barges into the isolated tollhouse and refuses to leave. Piers's friend Tess, the estate manager's daughter, is instantly smitten with Adam, and the three begin a complex relationship rife with sexual and emotional tension and bent on self-discovery. Chambers writes eloquent dialogue, his flawless character development propelling this provocative story forward as the trio's lives swerve out of control. Frank sexual conversation and an explicit sex scene between Tess and Adam characterize the teens' authentically reckless path. When the estate is put up for sale, the three are charged with painting the tollhouse, and Tess and Adam celebrate its completion and surprise Piers (whom they call Jan, after Janus, a reference to the two-faced god of bridges) by inviting Gill to a party, which turns out badly. Spurned by Piers, she escapes to the river where she encounters Adam, mistakes his friendliness for an attack, and fights back, leaving him badly injured and unconscious. In a shattering climax, Adam's true identity and past are revealed. This grippingly multilayered, sophisticated drama can be enjoyed alone or read as part of Chambers's "The Dance Sequence" series (Abrams).-Joyce Adams Burner, formerly at Hillcrest Library, Prairie Village, KS

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810983588
  • Publisher: Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/1/2009
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 288
  • Age range: 14 years
  • Lexile: 950L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 2.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Aidan Chambers is the author of the highly acclaimed Dance Sequence of young-adult novels: Breatktime, Dance on My Grave, Now I Know, The Toll Bridge, Postcards from No Man’s Land, and This Is All: The Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn. Aidan won the Michael L. Printz Award and the Carnegie Medal for Postcards from No Man’s Land, and was awarded the Hans Christian Andersen Award, children’s literature’s highest honor, for his body of work. He’s only the second British writer to win it. He lives in the west of England with his American wife, Nancy.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2005

    a book for intelligent young adults who dislike reading

    i had the privilege of reading the uncorrected proof of this book all those years ago before it had been published. i loved that the three main characters had such obvious chemistry. the dialogue and actions of the characters were so incredibly realistic that chambers must have studied human interaction and, more specifically, teenage interaction. the detail and twists and turns of the plot were impressive. the book provoked a lot of thought, and the ending was shocking. this is definitely a novel worth reading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2003

    Amazing

    The Toll Bridge is probably the best book I have ever read. Once I started reading it, I was pulled into the world of Jan and the Toll Bridge. The way the story is written from both Jan and Tess's point of views is amazing.

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