Nate Morrissey has spent the past eighteen years trying to forget the tragic events of a stormy night in Mount Kelven. The decisions he and his Mormon girlfriend Laura made that night, set off a tragic train of events which culminated in their parents’ cars going off a bridge and landing on a boat full of children.
Nate, now a lawyer for a high price firm in New York City, has been sent by his boss to Mount Kelven to undertake some delicate investigations. His firm’s client, a prominent government official, was involved in the case Nate’s father was prosecuting at the time of his death and is now under investigation by CBS’s “60 Minutes” and new evidence may have been uncovered casting new light on the events of eighteen years ago.
“All he wanted, for now, was to feel the presence of some vague and undefined possibility.” p. 76, A Bridge Back
Patrick M. Garry’s new novel, A Bridge Back, is a novel about remorse and redemption. For the past eighteen years, Nate has floated along where life took him. Rather than being an active participant in his life, his focus was on achieving professional success and the rest of his life just happened. The result was predictable; even though he has achieved professional acclaim, emotionally he has remained frozen at the day of the accident.
Garry has crafted an emotionally stunted character who, despite blustering bravado, is an appealing, optimistic child. A naïf swept up in events he would prefer to remain buried, Nate realizes that “the tasks of repairing the past [are] unlimited.” Now that he has returned to Mount Kelven, the past has resurfaced and he is emotionally thawing. Readers will be caught up in this story of redemption and will struggle along with him to untangle the affairs of eighteen years ago.
Tragedy, especially when it involves children, can destroy both people and a town. Garry provides insight into the various ways human deal with traumatic events and the long-term ramifications. As an exploration of guilt, redemption and regret, A Bridge Back provides an engaging read, even though this reader wishes that some secondary characters were more fully realized.
Publisher: Inkwater Press
Publication Date: February 18, 2008