The Last Bridge
The Last Bridge
Ballantine Books, Hardcover, 9780345507310, 240pp.
Publication Date: July 28, 2009
For ten years, Alexandra “Cat” Rucker has been on the run from her past. With an endless supply of bourbon and a series of meaningless jobs, Cat is struggling to forget her Ohio hometown and the rural farmhouse she once called home. But a sudden call from an old neighbor forces Cat to return to the home and family she never intended to see again. It seems that Cat’s mother is dead.
What Cat finds at the old farmhouse is disturbing and confusing: a suicide note, written on lilac stationery and neatly sealed in a ziplock bag, that reads: Cat, He isn’t who you think he is. Mom xxxooo
One note, ten words–one for every year she has been gone–completely turns Cat’s world upside down. Seeking to unravel the mystery of her mother’s death, Cat must confront her past to discover who “he” might be: her tyrannical, abusive 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)? The town coroner, Andrew Reilly, who seems to have known Cat’s mother long before she landed on a slab in his morgue? Or Addison Watkins, Cat’s first and only love?
The closer Cat gets to the truth, the harder it is for her to repress the memory and the impact of the events that sent her away so many years ago.
Taut, gripping, and edgy, The Last Bridge is an intense novel of family secrets, darkest impulses, and deep-seated love. Teri Coyne has created a stunning tapestry of pain and passion where past and present are seamlessly interwoven to tell a story that sears and warms in equal measure.
“[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