Two brothers, Arthur and Jake, are the sons of a local farmer in the mid-1930s, when life is tough and another World War is looming. Arthur is reticent, solid, dutiful, set to inherit the farm and his father's character; Jake is younger, attractive, mercurial and dangerous to know. A young woman, Laura, comes into the community and tips the ...
Two brothers, Arthur and Jake, are the sons of a local farmer in the mid-1930s, when life is tough and another World War is looming. Arthur is reticent, solid, dutiful, set to inherit the farm and his father's character; Jake is younger, attractive, mercurial and dangerous to know. A young woman, Laura, comes into the community and tips the fragile balance of sibling rivalry over the edge...And then there is Ian, son of the local doctor, much younger, thoughtful, idealistic, and far too sure that he knows the difference between right and wrong. By now it is the Fifties, and the world has changed - a little, but not enough. The stories of these two generations in the small town of Struan and its harsh rural hinterland are tragically interlocked, linked by fate and community but separated by a war which devours its young men and whose unimaginable horror reaches right into the heart of this remote corner of an empire. Lawson has an astonishing ability to turn the ratchet of tension slowly and delicately, building to a shocking climax. Taut with apprehension, surprising the reader with moments of tenderness and humour, "The Other Side of the Bridge" is a compelling, humane and vividly evoked novel with an irresistible emotional undertow.
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I really enjoyed this book about sibling rivalry, obsession, and jealousy. Jake is the favourite son, but he is trouble. Arthur seems invisible, but ends up being what he always was: dependable. The woman, Laura, is loved by Arthur, pursued by Jake (just because Arthur loves her), and stalked by Ian. The story does get confusing at times, as it goes back and forth in time. Jake is infuriating and yet, when something bad happens to him, I feel some sympathy. That just shows what a manipulator he is.
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