Books Magazine

Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak

By Pamelascott

The five Dunbar brothers are living - fighting, dreaming, loving - in the perfect squalor of a house without grownups. Today, the father who abandoned them is about to walk back in.

But why has he returned, and who have the boys become since he left?

At the helm is Matthew, cynical, poetic; Rory, forever truanting; Henry, the money-spinner; and young Tommy, the pet collector who has colonised the house with dysfunctional pets, including Achilles the mule and Rosy the Border collie.

And then there's Clay, the quiet one, his whole young life haunted by an unspeakable act.

From the tale of their grandfather, whose passion for the ancient Greeks still colours their lives, to the mother and father who met over a mislaid piano, to the present day, where five sons dwell in a house with no rules, Bridge of Clay is an epic portrait of a ramshackle family and the unburying of one boy's tragic secret.


[IN THE BEGINNING there was one murderer, one mule and one boy, but this isn't the beginning, it's before, it's me, and I'm Matthew, and here I am, in the kitchen, in the night - the old river mouth of light - and I'm punching and punching away]


(Random House Audiobooks, 11 October 2018, audiobook, 14 hours 36 minutes, bought from @audibleuk, narrated by the author)



The Book Thief remains one of the best books I've ever read. So my expectations for this were massive. My expectations were mostly met. Bridge of Clay is not quite as awesome as The Book Thief but it's still pretty great. This is a very complex book and tackles such issues as the true meaning of family and home, how to forgive, the grief of losing someone who was an extraordinary person, first love and the love and bond between brothers. Bridge of Clay takes a while to get going but I was soon engrossed in it. You need to put effort into reading this but it's worth it. I loved the way the story develops, piece by piece like a patchwork quilt. This book really got to me, especially towards the end when the mother's death is recounted.

Bridge Clay Markus Zusak

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