It took two decades for Zusak to write this novel. The Book Thief is pronounced as THE favourite book by many people, so I can understand the pressure of following it. But, hats off to this talented man, who wrote a novel that will stay with me for a long time.
It’s one of those difficult reviews where I want to tell you all the goodness in this book, but at the same time, you should discover it for yourselves. So, I’ll try to give a little glimpse of the goodness 🙂
BRIDGE OF CLAY is a book with so much depth, complexity, emotion and more… It’s a story of Dunbar family. Five brothers, who lose their mother first, then abandoned by their father. Matthew, the oldest is our narrator. He takes the mission of taking care of his brothers. 5 boys in a house, god, it was chaotic! They hold hands through their struggles to grow up, learn to exist in this world, and step into adulthood. The star of the book is Clay, who’s going to build this bridge. The bridge is both physical and symbolic. It has lots of meanings, lots of layers. And that, you need to peel off one by one, yourselves 🙂
First thing I need to tell about this book is, the first 50 pages are hard. You’re thrown into this big family and it takes a while to understand who is who, what’s happening. But, be patient, because after we get the hang of it, we’re in Zusak’s magical world.
His writing is just so rich. He has his own style, and I can appreciate it’s not for everyone, but there’s no doubt he’s very skilful. He has his long descriptions, choppy sentences, clever metaphors. It’s not usual, but still captivating. It makes you somehow curious to keep going.
It’s a character driven book. Before you know it, you start to feel and care for this family.
We go back and forth across decades, to learn about them. Penelope’s past, her transition to motherhood, their father’s disappearance and revealing the truth behind it… This plot is told masterfully sucking you in slowly but surely, leaving you sleepless at night with teary eyes.
Although there were so many sub-plots and characters, the focus is Clay. A character, you won’t forget about. The coming of age story of him, affected so much from the loss, developing into a devoted, strong teenager. Building the bridge is a way of expressing himself and all those emotions tucked inside. He was a remarkable character. Also, personally, I thought Penelope’s story was extremely emotional and added a lot of meaning and depth to this book.
I absolutely loved this book, the Dunbar family, Clay, Zusak’s complex plot, his uniqueness and everything that comes with it. It was a rewarding journey, and I’d definitely recommend it. 4.5 stars, just because the beginning was a rough entry.
Finally, if you live around London, you should stop by Waterstones Picadilly, because they are building an amazing display for this book, a REAL bridge of books. 2500 books coming together to create this majestic display. I was lucky enough to get together with the Transworld team and some fellow bloggers to watch this, while we discuss how much we loved the book 🙂
I would like to thank the Publisher, Transworld Books for granting an ARC of this book, in exchange for an honest review.
Thanks a lot for stopping by. Let me know if you read this book or plan to read it 🙂