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The Broken Bridge by Philip Pullman

The Broken Bridge (1990)

by Philip Pullman

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$5.50 (3) art (4) artists (5) British (4) children's (6) children's books (3) children's fiction (4) coming of age (2) England (3) family (6) fantasy (5) fiction (34) grandparents (3) identity (3) kids (2) library (2) mystery (7) novel (5) R (3) race (3) racism (7) read (7) read in 2009 (3) teen (4) to-read (5) UK (2) unread (3) Wales (6) YA (11) young adult (14)
  1. 10
    The Ruby in the Smoke by Philip Pullman (norabelle414)
    norabelle414: Excellent Victorian era historical fiction mysteries with strong female protagonists

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A sweet coming-of-age kind of story for the young adult. Unfortunately, I couldn't connect emotionally to this book, but this is completely individual. ( )
  AdvaKramer | Sep 25, 2013 |
Not as good as the His Dark Materials series but not bad. I really like His Dark Materials so thought that I would give some of his other books a chance.
  walterqchocobo | Apr 8, 2013 |
An early young adult novel by Philip Pullman, it is similar in character to his The White Mercedes. Although no where nearly as good as that one, it is still worth reading.

The novel is about a sixteen year old girl Ginny who grows up with a single father father in a coastal village in Wales. Her mother, she is told, is a Haitian artist. Over the course of the novel she learns that a number of her most deeply held truths are anything but. A half brother she never knew about moves in with her and she eventually uncovers more and more about her past and the past of her father.

Throughout the "broken bridge" functions as both a central piece of the story (a literal broken bridge that was damaged in an accident around when she was born) and also a metaphor for her various relationships all in various states of repair.

The book does not have one central revelation or plot twist that puts everything in perspective, instead it is an unfolding of Ginny's awareness of herself and the friends and relatives that surround her. ( )
1 vote jasonlf | Jun 18, 2011 |
A story of Ginny, a girl out of place in her small village. When events from the past come crashing into the present she discovers secrets about herself and her father.
As always an enjoyable, well writen book by a great author ( )
  dodau | May 13, 2011 |
Ginny Howard's mother was from Haiti, and it's from her that Ginny apparently inherits her artistic talents. She now lives with her widowed father in a Welsh village near the sea, and for a fifteen-year-old of mixed descent that isn't easy. Come the summer holidays and some of the mysteries concerning her mother and family start to emerge, upsetting the sensitive but determined teenager at that crucial period when she is making the transition from childhood to adulthood.

"Coming-of-age", "teenage-angst", "identity-crisis" – yes, these are all appropriate labels to pin on this novel, but they only convey part of what Pullman is about. This is also about a sense of place: the northern coast of Cardigan Bay, south of Harlech, with its uneasy mix of Welsh speakers and incomers set in a picturesque but haunting landscape. This too is about what it is to be an artist, with your peculiar personal viewpoint to express, somehow, in an unspoken language that not everyone may understand.

As Pullman himself writes, "In this book I was really writing about my own teenage years in that part of the world, and my discovery of the visual arts, and my love of that landscape." His narrative skill is evident throughout, drawing the reader onwards, and there is much vivid characterisation. For fans of His Dark Materials and the Sally Lockhart series there is even a little bit of the supernatural suggested, curious perhaps for an avowed atheist writer but fairly convincingly worked in. In this tortured and claustrophobic novel teenage feelings of alienation and isolation are captured well; true to life, not every matter is resolved but there is certainly a glimmer of hope beckoning at the end of the tunnel.

http://wp.me/s2oNj1-bridge ( )
  ed.pendragon | Sep 1, 2010 |
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One day in the school playground they'd said, Eeny, meeny, miney, Mo', Catch a nigger by his toe, and they'd all looked at Ginny and laughed.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0679847154, Mass Market Paperback)

At 16, Ginny finds that her love of painting connects her to the artistic Haitian mother she never knew and eases the isolation she feels as the only mixed-race teen in her Welsh village. When she learns she has a half-brother by her father's first marriage, her world is shattered. Ginny embarks on a quest for the truth that will allow her to claim her artistic heritage--and face her father.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:01:01 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Over the course of a long summer in Wales, sixteen-year-old Ginny, the mixed-race, artist daughter of an English father and a Haitian mother, learns that she has a half-brother from her father's earlier marriage, and that her own mother may still be alive.… (more)

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