If you are a tweeter, then you know that I was reading a new author, Teri Coyne this Sunday and promised to tell you how I liked her this week. It is still hard for me to even write some of the thoughts that came over me while I read her novel, The Last Bridge.
Just going to her official website will give you the urgent need to read her novel. For some, you may not have wished you did. For others, like me, it will help you heal, through her character, Cat.
The Last Bridge by Teri Coyne
The author brings you to the forefront of her writing style in the first sentence:
“Two days after my father had a massive stroke my mother shot herself in the head.”
This is merely the beginning of a very gritty story of abuse that can almost not be compared to many. It is a story that will have you wanting to stop reading, but you will be unable to stop turning the page. I read this book in one sitting of about five hours. I stopped only to find more tissues as the novel became increasingly harder for me to grasp as the main character continued to endure more and more pain in her life.
Coyne gives you hope, in the words of Cat that keep you going through chapter after chapter with fire. Cat’s words are harsh, full of rage and she utters things that I only wish I had when I was going through a mere morsel of what she did. You will feel yourself feeling deeply for the characters in the book to the point where the line between a novel and real people will blur easily into the well of tears that will come over and over. It is her grit and utter up-front in-your-face writing that will haunt you well after you are finished. I will not let you know the outcome of the book, but let you in to a few more quotes to get you to go get it yourself and dig in.
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“I wanted to help you. That’s why I went, but when I saw his face, I ___”
“Jesus Christ,” I said as I shook my head. “She put her suicide note in a Ziploc bag?” “Yes, folks, if you were going to blow your brains out, which bag would you choose for your suicide note?”
“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?”
Count the roosters. One, two…Don’t cry….Count the roosters.
“What did he do to you?” he muttered, as he carried me through the slippery mud and grass away from the bridge and deeper into the clearing. I had made it to the other side, the one I had never been on. He laid me down on a cot inside a small hunting shack. It smelled like moss and dried leaves.
“I’m getting help.”
“Don’t leave me.” I reached for him as I began to cry.
“I’ll be back.”
He walked to the door and came back and held my hand.
“Dad’s gone. You’re safe.”
Jared carried me back across the bridge slung over his shoulder, like a fireman. My pelvis ached against his shoulder. I wanted to vomit but convinced myself I wouldn’t as there was no way I could get my mouth open wide enough.
“I fell,” I said, making a conscious effort to speak clearly.
The monitor above my father’s bed began to beep rapidly as my father’s grip tightened on me.
Let me tell you that these are some of the easier visuals you have to deal with when reading this story and there are moments where you will feel her rage come within you. For those of you who are in my book club, there are a lot of people in this story that I truly hate. That being said, I am very glad I did not read this in a book club setting as coming to a group sitting would have devastated me to talk about the past, which I would have. I agree with many when they said this was the début novel of the year. Read it even if you don’t think you should. It is tremendous and will stay with you long after you close the book.