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The Other Side of the Bridge (2006)

door Mary Lawson

LedenBesprekingenPopulariteitGemiddelde beoordelingAanhalingen
8873717,524 (4.02)92
From the author of the beloved #1 national bestseller Crow Lake comes an exceptional new novel of jealously, rivalry and the dangerous power of obsession. Two brothers, Arthur and Jake Dunn, are the sons of a farmer in the mid-1930s, when life is tough and another world war is looming. Arthur is reticent, solid, dutiful and set to inherit the farm and his father's character; Jake is younger, attractive, mercurial and dangerous to know - the family misfit. When a beautiful young woman comes into the community, the fragile balance of sibling rivalry tips over the edge. Then there is Ian, the family's next generation, and far too sure he knows the difference between right and wrong. By now it is the fifties, and the world has changed - a little, but not enough. These two generations in the small town of Struan, Ontario, are tragically interlocked, linked by fate and community but separated by a war which devours its young men - its unimaginable horror reaching right into the heart of this remote corner of an empire. With her astonishing ability to turn the ratchet of tension slowly and delicately, Lawson builds their story to a shocking climax. Taut with apprehension, surprising us with moments of tenderness and humour, The Other Side of the Bridge is a compelling, humane and vividly evoked novel with an irresistible emotional undertow. "Arthur found himself staring down at the knife embedded in his foot. There was a surreal split second before the blood started to well up and then up it came, dark and thick as syrup. Arthur looked at Jake and saw that he was staring at the knife. His expression was one of surprise, and this was something that Arthur wondered about later too. Was Jake surprised because he had never considered the possibility that he might be a less than perfect shot? Did he have that much confidence in himself, that little self-doubt? Or was he merely surprised at how easy it was to give in to an impulse, and carry through the thought which lay in your mind? Simply to do whatever you wanted to do, and damn the consequences."-from The Other Side of the Bridge "From the Hardcover edition."… (meer)

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1-5 van 37 worden getoond (volgende | toon alle)
This was a beautiful coming of age story set in rural northern Canada. Arthur and Jake are as different as brothers can be. Arthur takes after his father. He's a strong solid man who kind and helpful, but not a good student. His mother insists he stay in school, even though he knows an education won't help him on the Depression era farm. Jake, the younger brother, is smart, articulate and his mother's pride and joy. She can't see his cruelty and manipulation. One day Arthur is tasked with walking some cows to a nearby farm. While leading them over a rickety bridge, Jake plays around under the bridge, which leads to an incident that will haunt Arthur for the rest of his life.

The Depression era story is interwoven twenty years later with a new narrator, Ian Christopherson, son of the local doctor. Ian has an adolescent crush on Arthur's beautiful wife, Laura, and decides their farm would be the perfect place for his summer job before heading off to college. Jake is nowhere around and no one mentions him.

I loved this book but I can't put my finger on exactly why. It's a beautifully written, character driven human drama that echoes the story of Esau and Jacob, with each parent having a favorite. It's such a subtle book, yet filled with tragedy, humanity, and decency. I have to read something else by this talented author.
( )
  Olivermagnus | Jul 2, 2020 |
Jake und Arthur sind zwei Brüder, die unterschiedlicher kaum sein könnten. Arthur ist bedächtig und introvertiert, er ist zudem ein begnadeter Landwirt. Jake ist intelligent und sprühend, der Liebling seiner Mutter und aller Frauen.
Schon als Jugendliche im Kanada der 1940er Jahre haben sie Konflikte. Die Handlung des Buches setzt aber etwa in den 1960er Jahren ein, als Jake nach langer Abwesenheit zurück auf die Farm seiner Familie kommt.
Erzählt wird das Buch aus Sicht des Jugendlichen Ian, der bei Arthur jobbt, während er selbst versucht sein Leben zu bewältigen und die Anforderungen, die es stellt.
Ich fand das Buch wunderbar. Es ist großartig erzählt, hat hervorragende Charaktere und ist sehr glaubwürdig. Man mag es gar nicht aus der Hand legen.
Der Fluss und die Brücke darüber, die unterschiedlichen Seiten, sind im Buch sowohl Schauplatz als auch Metapher. ( )
  Wassilissa | Jan 29, 2020 |
Lawson has done it again. I absolutely loved her debut novel Crow Lake and she did not disappoint me with this, her second novel. In fact, this was the perfect read to pull me out of my reading funk after having abandoned a book. Told through a shifting narrative, Lawson's characters come to life in a way that continues to astound me. Lawson adeptly captures the essence of time and place, the place being the fictional small Northern Ontairo town of Struan, a stone's throw away from the setting for [Crow Lake]. Family dynamics take the forefront in this story, but Lawson delves deeper to also provide an examination of the clashes/tensions of urban versus rural and indigenous populations and the more recent land settlers. Not surprisingly, Lawson admits on her website that she vaguely thinks of her three novels - the third one being Road Ends - as ‘The Crow Lake Trilogy’ or ‘The Struan Trilogy’ because they are linked in place and time and have several characters who appear in more than one book. Yes, Lawson's writing style and the loose weaving of her novels remind me a bit of Marilynne Robinson's Gilead books. Lawson employs quiet, reflective prose to convey a powerful coming of age story mired in moral quandaries, sibling rivalry, the devastating impact the second World War had on small farming communities and the sheer daunting influence of Mother Nature and her ability to isolate communities.

The execution of this story is picture perfect and Lawson deserves a place of honor, IMO, alongside some of my favorite Canadian authors, such as Timothy Findley and David Adams Richards. What can I say... I tend to love books that have a tragic angle to them.

Highly, highly recommended! ( )
1 stem lkernagh | Oct 14, 2018 |
I read Jane Smiley's Thousand Acres not long ago and it's impossible not to compare with this as the communities in which they are set have lots of similarities. The difference is that Mary Lawson sketches a community that has real bonds - however much they shrink or break, life goes on, people strive or shrivel in the company of others - while Jane Smiley's emotional world focuses only on the individual penned into a horrific family life. Horrendous things happen to people, or are committed by people in Mary Lawson's world - indeed the devastation of WWII on the community is a central theme - but despite the passing of hurt and damage down the generations the world does move on. ( )
  Ma_Washigeri | May 27, 2018 |
The whole idea of rivalry between brothers is timeless and has been around since Cain and Abel's time. But this book, although dealing with this age-old topic has a certain agelessness about it. Mary Lawson handles the subject with skill and with grace. The book is set in Northern Ontario. It covers the lives of two brothers for almost fifty years. Arthur is the oldest and he is the slow, steady and trustworthy brother who likes nothing better than helping his father on the farm. Jake is the younger brother and he is a hedonist - charming and sunny but not trustworthy. The two brothers are always competing for something whether it's a mother or father's love, marks in school or even the same woman. This rivalry goes on for the duration of the book which is almost fifty years, and we know that we are inexorably being drawn to a terrible conclusion. This is a powerful story that is very well written, filled with apprehension, tension and deceit. But there is hope in this book as well and we see this as we see the drama unfold through young Ian's eyes. I couldn't put it down. ( )
  Romonko | Dec 2, 2016 |
1-5 van 37 worden getoond (volgende | toon alle)
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There was a summer back when they were kids, when Arthur Dunn was thirteen or fourteen and his brother, Jake, was eight or nine, when for weeks on end Jake pestered Arthur to play the game he called knives.
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From the author of the beloved #1 national bestseller Crow Lake comes an exceptional new novel of jealously, rivalry and the dangerous power of obsession. Two brothers, Arthur and Jake Dunn, are the sons of a farmer in the mid-1930s, when life is tough and another world war is looming. Arthur is reticent, solid, dutiful and set to inherit the farm and his father's character; Jake is younger, attractive, mercurial and dangerous to know - the family misfit. When a beautiful young woman comes into the community, the fragile balance of sibling rivalry tips over the edge. Then there is Ian, the family's next generation, and far too sure he knows the difference between right and wrong. By now it is the fifties, and the world has changed - a little, but not enough. These two generations in the small town of Struan, Ontario, are tragically interlocked, linked by fate and community but separated by a war which devours its young men - its unimaginable horror reaching right into the heart of this remote corner of an empire. With her astonishing ability to turn the ratchet of tension slowly and delicately, Lawson builds their story to a shocking climax. Taut with apprehension, surprising us with moments of tenderness and humour, The Other Side of the Bridge is a compelling, humane and vividly evoked novel with an irresistible emotional undertow. "Arthur found himself staring down at the knife embedded in his foot. There was a surreal split second before the blood started to well up and then up it came, dark and thick as syrup. Arthur looked at Jake and saw that he was staring at the knife. His expression was one of surprise, and this was something that Arthur wondered about later too. Was Jake surprised because he had never considered the possibility that he might be a less than perfect shot? Did he have that much confidence in himself, that little self-doubt? Or was he merely surprised at how easy it was to give in to an impulse, and carry through the thought which lay in your mind? Simply to do whatever you wanted to do, and damn the consequences."-from The Other Side of the Bridge "From the Hardcover edition."

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