Other Side of the Bridge, The

Lawson, Mary

  16 Reviews

Set against the backdrop of northern Ontario's haunting landscapes, The Other Side of the Bridge opens with an unforgettable image of Arthur and Jake Dunn, two brothers whose jealousies will take them beyond the edge of reason, to a deadly point of no return. The sons of a farmer, growing up in the 1930s when a beautiful young woman named Laura moves into their community, she unwittingly propels their sibling rivalry to its breaking point.

Comments from Groups

Majority of our group really enjoyed this book. Characters we could relate to. Good picture of rural life. Would recommend to other groups. Rawene 001

All enjoyed the book, particularly the evocative and descriptive writing. One member felt it was a 'small' story which led to a lively discussion as to [the] importance of family, life and death. May be on a small domestic scale, but is still huge - and events in the novel set against big events - Depression and World War2. Whitianga 001

We enjoyed the book and it created lots of discussion. It was great that it was written from a male perspective. The epilogue worked as an ending to tie everything together. It was very readable - took a bit to get into, but well worth persevering. Ashburton 013

This book was well received by all the members - that does not often happen. Great characterisation - excellent descriptions and we learned much too. .... Otautau 001

Unanimous approval of this book - one of our best reads. Gave a very good picture of life in a small community. Very well written. Christchurch 108

This was a great source of pleasure for almost all our members, who were impressed by the characterisation of the boys and young men and the way in which the author wove the themes that she had created. The only critical comments that arose in discussion were the negative portraits of the mothers, and the lack of development of the racist implications in Peter's inclusion as a significant part of the interactions...Palmerston North 002

Most enjoyed the book, and liked the Canadian setting - learning something about that country and their contribution in the War. A great depiction of characters - and some good twists and turns! Mana 001

Our group loved this book. The small details of a young man growing up were strung together in a way to expand on what could otherwise have been a very ordinary story. Christchurch 357

All enjoyed the book; fine descriptions of relationships between men and boys, siblings and parents. When set in a small remote town, this emphasises the acute differences and the way each person reacts to the other. Recommended! Masterton 005

This book was well received. Some people found it a little difficult to get into, but generally everyone enjoyed it, particularly her descriptions of the characters and the way she dealt with Canada's side of WW2. Our group found the lake scenes very real and could easily imagine being there. On average it received an 8/10, and everyone is looking forward to reading more of her work. Whitianga 002

Everyone loved the book - unanimous!! Some have read her other 2 books and recommended them. In fact, one member brought Crow Lake along to be passed around the group. We loved the notes! Timaru 007



WELL 046
We all very much enjoyed this book. We'd like to read more of her work.
Wonderful book!
Everyone loved it and found it an easy and enjoyable read. Excellent characterization with mostly likeable (not Jake) characters that you cared about. Female author did excellent job of telling the story through the male characters' perspective. Wonderful story telling, told with subtlety, nuance and minimum words. Even though it was told in two time periods it was easy to follow. Interesting to know about Canadian war experience and the use of German POWs to help on the farms. Enjoyed the background of the Canadian landscape.
Enjoyed by all. Interesting aspect from the male point of view. Very little really known about the women in the book.
AUCK 406
Good book. Lots of discussion.
CHCH 299
One of the few books that everyone in the group enjoyed. The descriptions of the environment were very evocative without being over written, characters were well drawn and the story line engaging - most of us are planning on reading more by this author.
WELL 024
Though a gentle novel (apart from prologue) it covered a wide range of family dilemmas in the setting of a small farming community. Very well-written. Created great discussion in our group. Highly recommend.
We all thoroughly enjoyed this book - loved the style of writing and look at the Ontario landscape.
CHCH 317
Overall the book was enjoyed very much. With few characters it was easy to follow the story through the two time periods. It was easy to relate to the feelings of the teenage boy for the older woman, and to the relationship between the two brothers. Recommended.
Most enjoyed it although some didn't finish it; didn't feel there was enough happening.
We really enjoyed this book. Beautifully written - one member didn't want to give it back!
TAUR 034
A well-written book with a compelling storyline. We all enjoyed the unexpected ending!
A good discussion. All enjoyed the book but some more than others. Two had read the book previously, and found the prior knowledge very helpful to understanding the sequence of events. Well-written book with characters well-drawn. Most sympathised with Arthur's character and there was good discussion about his strengths and virtues. A good book.
UPHU 007
This book is our favourite so far this year. Most of us did not want it to finish. Lots of discussion - most thought Jake was evil, others that his spite was due to his mother and lack of attention from his father.
An outstanding insight into characters and life in taxing situations. Thoroughly recommended.
We all enjoyed reading this book. It was well written with defined characters although it still allowed for gaps so readers could add their own interpretations. It was an interesting perspective written by a female author through the eyes of male characters. Great read.