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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The One-Way Bridge: A Novel

I love a good old-fashioned storytelling experience. Which is why I picked up Cathie Pelletier's The One-Way Bridge this weekend.

Mattagash, Maine is a small town with all of what you would expect in a small town. Everyone knows each other, and everyone knows one another's business. Billy Thunder, one-half Mattagashian, has just come back to town and is up to no good. Orville, the mailman, sets out to retire while reigniting his marriage. His longstanding feud with Harry lights up the days, while Harry begins a late-in-life romance with Blanche, the owner of the diner in town. Under all of these surface stories lies humans with real and raw issues--how to keep the intimacy alive in a long-lasting marriage, finding new love in your autumn years, choosing to let go to love that may not be such anymore.

This book was just the most lovely piece of literature I could have had in my hands this week. Just like in small towns, looks can be deceiving. On the one hand, what I loved most about this book was how adorable it was. I found myself grinning and giggling over some of the high jinks in the book, and I lovedlovedloved the war of the moose mailbox. (If you want to know what this "war" is, buy the book. There are links below--I am not giving it away!) It was the most fun I have had giggling in a book in a while.  On the other hand, however, there was a deep undercurrent of understanding that what you see on the outside hides a wad of emotions, feelings, and choices underneath the surface. What seems to be a sleepy small town in Maine is actually a vessel full of love, hate, longing, regret, and everything in between.

This book made me happy. I love books that just simply make me happy. I was able to get lost in this town of kooky characters that remind me of small-town Southern living. It turns out small towns are the same no matter where you go--north, east, south, or west. I adored the characters--they were so real and so truthful, and I enjoyed the hours I spent with them invading their lives for my daily enjoyment. This novel makes me smile every time I see the cover--and that, dear readers, is what I call a successful reading experience.

Kindle on left, hard copy on right.

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