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The Bridge Between by Norma Johnston

The Bridge Between (1966)

by Norma Johnston

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This is an early Johnston, and it shows. I'm a big fan of her Keeping Days series, and it was interesting to see some of the same underpinnings here. This story is set during the American Revolution, and it's pretty bare in a lot of ways- it presupposes that the reader knows a lot about the war, especially in New Jersey. The protagonist is a 15 year old girl who has adulthood cares thrust upon her far to early. There are 5 kids in the family, and an extended family of cousins and friends, some of whom were hard to tell apart. There's a fair bit of interesting Dutch history, and a nice picture of farm living in the late 1770s. There is also, since it's Johnston, a lot of romance. The love interests are worthy, for the most part, and their struggles ring true.

I liked it but I didn't love it. It's certainly worth a read, especially if you are a fan. ( )
  satyridae | Apr 5, 2013 |
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Set in 1776 in New Jersey. "Love, understanding, compassion...this ability to feel with others, deep beneath the surface, this was the bridge between. Well, not too deep beneath the surface are all of Jenny's feelings as comes the Revolution to Jersey Dutch country in 1776--she wants things to stay as they are and she doesn't want to be involved in the war. But circumstances overrule her conscientious objections and her attempt to keep her home a "place of peace;" the boy it is assumed she will marry is off to fight; her father is arrested and interned; her younger brother (Jenny has been surrogate mother to all her family) comes home with a sizable amount of Hessian gold which Jenny eventually will smuggle through to General Washington and his bedraggled, mutinous men. The infiltration here of certain morality-maturity concepts is also in the attempt to make this more worthwhile than the usual teen-aged historical although one questions whether they won't have shied away from quiltings and hymn sings to begin with. The story is better than the prose which you will have judged for yourself, above.
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