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The Other Side of the Bridge [Paperback]

Mary Lawson
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 6.39 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

21 Jun 2007
Arthur and Jake: brothers, yet worlds apart. Arthur is older, shy, dutiful, and set to inherit his father's farm. Jake is younger and reckless, a dangerous to know. When Laura arrives in their 1930s rural community, an already uneasy relationship is driven to breaking point...

Frequently Bought Together

The Other Side of the Bridge + Crow Lake + Road Ends
Price For All Three: 27.29

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  • Crow Lake 7.19
  • Road Ends 13.71

Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; 1st Vintage Book Edition edition (21 Jun 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099437260
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099437260
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12,582 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mary Lawson was born and brought up in a farming community in Ontario. A distant relative of L. M. Montgomery, author of Anne of Green Gables, she moved to England in 1968. She is the author of Crow Lake and The Other Side of the Bridge.

Product Description


"A beautiful read, on every level" (Independent on Sunday)

"Like the great 19th-century novelists of provincial life, Mary Lawson is fluent in the desperate intensity of the small, individual dramas of respectable people - and she paints an eloquent picture" (Sunday Telegraph)

"Evokes beautifully the big joys and sorrows of most people, no matter how small their town" (The Times)

"Discreetly powerful" (Daily Telegraph)

"This is a fine book - an enthralling read, both straightforward and wonderfully intricate" (Guardian)

Book Description

The second novel from the bestselling, prize-winning Mary Lawson - a powerful, heartbreaking story about tempting fate and living with the consequences

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully depicted 26 Sep 2007
I saw this book on the Richard & Judy Summer read and thought I'd try it on for size. I'd never read anything by Mary Lawson before and immediately fell in love with the characters Ian and Arthur.

Lawson beautifully creates a scene of growing up in a small town, both pre and post WW2 and uses realistic description of the town's scenary throughout the seasons.

She also creates a marvellous relationship between Arthur and the rest of his family (and later his wife) and encapsulates the very essence of sibling rivalry - with a more vicious twist.

It's a moving and somewhat heartbreaking tale of love, loss and humanity. I liked the way that Arthur and Ian's stories were structurally broken up by chapters; there was no jumping backwards and forwards that often loses a reader.

I'd definitely read more of her work; I read this in 2 days on holiday and felt sorry to finish it.
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46 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars book with soul 30 Sep 2007
By Love Books VINE VOICE
I was a little disappointed by some of the Richard and Judy choices so came to this late, but it was sheer reading pleasure from beginning to end. It's a story of good people doing the best they can with the lives they have and how one small action can cause so much damage and such sad consequences.
I loved everything about this book. It had me in tears more than once, the whole thing fitted together so beautifully, and the detail was loveley, from the repercussions of the war to the spots on the throat of the little girl with measles. It's beautifully written, it's a lovely story and it has real soul.
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46 of 51 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars he other side of the bridge 21 Jun 2007
I absolutly adored Crow Lake - and Mary - you owe me some of your royalty payments - because I must have given this book as presents to over 30 people. However, The other side of the Bridge is good and a real page turner - it is not to the same standard. I think that this is because you tried to explain more, rather than allow the reader to calmly make their own conclusions with you just leading. The last part is rushed and a little garbled where as Crow Lake was so measured, even , balanced and calm.

Look forward to book number three, but dont rush it.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful tale... 20 Aug 2007
By LittleReader VINE VOICE
After reading, and loving, Crow Lake, ML had rather a lot to live up to with her second offering.
Essentially, this is the tale of two brothers - Arthur, hardworking, solid and dependable and Jake, flighty, spoilt and just a little bit mean - and how their very different personalities shape their lives and those of their families. Flipping backwards and forwards through time, we learn how those who constantly take will always override those who constantly give. With pretty dramatic consequences.
Not as enjoyable as her debut novel, The Other Side of the Bridge is still destined to be a classic.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Stirring Tale 1 April 2008
By Jenna
Here it is again. The gentle but persistent voice of the author of "Crow Lake," as she tells another story set in the same area of Northern Canada.
This time it is a tale of two brothers, just about as different as brothers could be. Inevitably they are rivals and whilst Arthur is the strong dependable one, Jake is spoilt and over protected by his mother.
There is little, if any, love between the brothers, and as time passes and the boys grow up, not surprisingly they find themselves in competition for the same girl.
The narrative is divided between two time spans, one leading up to and during the Second World War, and the other in the 1950's, and these alternate, chapter by chapter throughout the book.
Mary Lawson writes with compelling style and her characters are well drawn and complex, but nevertheless easy to empathise with. I simply loved this story although not quite as much as Mary Lawson's first novel, "Crow Lake." There again that was a hard act to follow.
The tension builds slowly as the feeling grows that somehow, someway something has to give; something has to happen to break the spell, redress the balance and bring justice.
It does, and it is well worth the wait!
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars utterly brilliant 31 Mar 2007
This is a wonderful book; quiet, yet surprising and deeply proufound, and funny too in its insight into humankind. Above all, it is kind about its faulty characters in a way that is rare in modern fiction. I love it. After reading 'Crow Lake' I bought copies of it for Christmas for people I really like, and I can see myself doing the same with this book. It's a treat to read. I look forward to re-reading it soon.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the same side of human nature. 8 Jan 2008
The Other Side of the Bridge for me exemplifies a novel of ordinary life which examines some of the important themes in life. It is another example of how female authors writing about the everyday in a deceptively simple style can often cover subjects that novels with loftier ambitions don't approach.

The novel hops between two generations in the same quiet Canadian settlement Struan. The 20s/30s chapters deal with the brothers Arthur and Jake, growing up on a farm with their parents. Arthur is five years older and, like his father, a stolid, solid worker whose silent exterior belies an inner sensitivity and aching for love, notably from the two people he can never seem to get them from - his mother (whose favourite has always been Jake), and, later, Laura. Jake is cocky and has the gift of the gab; his easy charm and quick wit manipulate and seduce everyone around him. Everyone that is, except his father. For me, one of the tragedies in the book is that although Jake has the unconditional adoration of his mother, which Arthur would die for, Jake craves the approval of his father, something that can only be earned by hard work on the farm. One of the reasons for Jake's spite towards Arthur seems to be this jealousy - although Jake on the surface has everything - looks, wit, brains, girls, adoring mother - as is human nature, he longs for the one thing he doesn't have; the only thing his plain, lumpen, monosyllabic brother Arthur has, which is the approval of his father. This explains a lot of Jake's spite towards his brother.

A generation later, Ian, the teenage son of the village doctor, develops an adolescent crush on the beautiful Laura, wife of a local farmer, and decides to seek part-time work on the farm in order to be near her.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Loved this book, captured me from the first page & now will read another of Mary Lawson's books.
Published 13 days ago by Hillyx
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy Reading
An absorbing story
Published 22 days ago by Jan Hinks
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A beautiful family story set in the north of Canada with fascinating shifting family relationships. Very well written.
Published 1 month ago by JPW
5.0 out of 5 stars Spellbinding!
This book was a sheer joy to read. I picked it up at every available opportunity. The more I read, the more I wanted to read. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Pauline
5.0 out of 5 stars Why has it taken me so long to discover?
This story is beautifully written and I am surprised to find that it has so few reviews. I'm not sure why it's taken me so long to get around to reading this as it's been sitting... Read more
Published 1 month ago by pomegranate
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written
The second beautifully written novel by Mary Lawson exploring the relationship between two brothers in an agricultural setting in Northern Ontario.
Published 1 month ago by Amazonian
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
My wife really likes these series of books. They come at the right price, and delivered very quickly.
Published 1 month ago by Roger Pull
5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful read
I heard this author on Graham Norton's radio show. He raved about her books, and I was not disappointed. A lovely gentle read that holds you to the end. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Nancy loves reading
4.0 out of 5 stars The Other Side of the Bridge
We had to read this book for our book club. It is a lovely story about two young people living in the USA at the outbreak of the war and how they grow up. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Maria Standingford
5.0 out of 5 stars Mary Lawson
Mary lawson is the only author to whom I have been tempted to write and say how much I have loved her books. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mrs. H. J. Schrager
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