The Other Side of the Bridge

Thursday, July 15, 2010

In this follow-up to her acclaimed Crow Lake, Lawson again explores the moral quandaries of life in the Canadian North. At the story's poles are Arthur Dunn, a stolid, salt-of-the-earth farmer, and his brother, Jake, a handsome, smooth-talking snake in the grass, whose lifelong mutual resentments and betrayals culminate in a battle over the beautiful Laura, with Arthur, it seems, the unlikely winner. Observing, and eventually intervening in their saga, is Ian, a teenager who goes to work on Arthur's farm to get close to Laura, seeing in her the antithesis of the mother who abandoned his father and him. It's a standard romantic dilemma—who to choose: the goodhearted but dull provider or the seductive but unreliable rogue?—but it gains depth by being set in Lawson's epic narrative of the Northern Ontario town of Struan as it weathers Depression, war and the coming of television. It's a world of pristine landscapes and brutal winters, where beauty and harshness are inextricably intertwined, as when Ian brings home a puppy that gambols adorably about—and then playfully kills Ian's even cuter pet bunny. Lawson's evocative writing untangles her characters' confused impulses toward city and country, love and hate, good and evil. (Oct. 3)

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Dial Press Trade Paperback (August 28, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385340389
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385340380
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
 

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