Originally published in the 1990s The Broken Bridge is a gorgeous adolescent coming-of-age story. Although very different to his fantasy novels you still get those wonderful three dimensional characters that Pullman has become known for.
Ginny is sixteen and lives in a small seaside town in Wales with her Dad. She feels different to everyone else. Her Haitian mother died when she was born and she is one of only two black kids that she knows in their small community. She comes alive through her art and it is a connection to her mother who she knows was a painter.
Her idyllic summer holidays are disrupted when a visitor turns up from Liverpool for her Dad. Discovering that she has a half-brother almost the same age as her is distressing and Ginny starts to question everything that her Dad has ever told her about their life and her family. It sparks a relentless search for the truth for both Ginny and her new brother Robert.
There is a certain innocence to this story and I had to keep reminding myself that it was pre-internet and Ginny couldn’t just pull out her phone and Google her mother’s name. It was the age of Directory Enquiries and Libraries. Research being done the old fashioned way. This doesn’t detract from the story at all but might be confusing for younger readers!
Supplied by Net Galley and Open Road Media in exchange for an honest review.
UK Publication Date: May 2 2017. 224 pages.