Friday, September 27, 2013
Review: The Bridge by Rebecca Rogers Maher
Henry meets Christa on the west tower of the Brooklyn Bridge, just as they’re both about to jump off and kill themselves. Despite his paralyzing depression—and her panic over a second bout of cancer—they can’t go through with their plans knowing that the other is going to die. So they make a pact—they’ll stay alive for 24 hours, and try to convince each other to live.
From the Staten Island Ferry to Chinatown to the Museum of Modern Art—Henry and Christa embark on a New York City odyssey that exposes the darkest moments of their lives. Is it too late for them? Or will love give them the courage to face the terrifying possibility of hope? ~ Goodreads
I have been searching for a swoon worthy romance to read for MONTHS. One that would make my heart beat faster and make me hold my breath in anticipation. Who would have thought that I would find it in a story about two desperately sad and lonely people about to commit suicide?
For a novella that is just under 100 pages, The Bridge has a depth of emotion and development that some full length novels never attain.
Henry and Christa both decide that life just isn't worth living anymore and stumble upon each other on the Brooklyn Bridge the morning they decide to jump. It's a complication neither anticipated and for some reason they can't seem to let the other go through with the act even though they just met.
They agree to give each other 24 hours, exploring New York City, to see if they can convince the other to change their mind.
What was interesting to me is that both Henry and Christa understand the bone deep despair that would drive a person to want to kill themselves. Henry suffers from depression & Christa has a recurring case of breast cancer, but they aren't very understanding of each others reasons.
Christa sees a good looking, wealthy man, with access to help and a future of endless possibilities while Henry sees Christa as a vibrant woman who has the strength to overcome any obstacle in her path.
As they spend the day doing mundane things like eating ice cream, walking around Chinatown and the museum for the last time (they both still plan to kill themselves the next day) they tear down the walls that have held in years of emotions. But letting in all those feelings doesn't necessarily make life easier. With the new emotions comes an even bigger chance of being hurt by a world that has already dealt them blow after blow. The decision to choose life is even more frightening than choosing death to them.
Maher does an incredible job addressing both cancer and depression in an honest way. Again - I'm stunned at what she was able to convey in 79 pages.
Final thoughts: The Bridge is a breathtaking story that's a love letter to NYC, a heartbreaking romance and journey of self discovery and bravery. There are no easy answers here and you'll be biting your nails until the very end. I actually slowed my reading down so it would last longer. Do I wish it was longer? As with almost all novellas - yes but this was damn near perfection for me and will make it as one of my top reads for 2013.
Author: website | twitter | goodreads
Buy the book! The Bridge