Rebecca’s Pick: Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak
Matthew, is the oldest of the five Dunbar boys. He’s taken care of his four younger brothers since his mother died of cancer and his father, too overcome with grief, abandoned his children.
We learn about each of the five brothers and their struggles to adapt without their parents, but the central focus is given to Clay, who is just a little different than the others.
While the rest of the boys condemn their father for leaving them, Clay can’t do that. He wants to, but he can’t bring himself to feel the same way about the man they all loved so much. Clay becomes essential to building bridges, both literal and figurative.
The narrative of this story has an almost dreamlike quality to it. The backstory of the boy’s parents is weaved in between the present-day happenings which focus mostly on Clay’s story. Like the Book Thief (one of my all-time favorites) Bridge of Clay is beautifully written. However, be prepared for a lot of sub-stories that can sometimes be difficult to keep up with, but ultimately worth it in the end. Even though, I admit, I did ugly cry more than once.