A tragic car accident on a covered bridge in rural Vermont shatters the Dupont family. The father Robert, is left handicapped, confined to a wheelchair and his young son, Jess, is killed. Two years later, mother and daughter are still trying to put the pieces back together again. Told from the perspective of Sylvia, Ruby and Nessa, The Forever Bridge is the story of these three incredibly damaged women and their struggle to find meaning amidst tragedy and hardship.
Following the accident, Sylvia Dupont suffers from agoraphobia, anxiety, depression and panic attacks. She has become a recluse, never venturing further then her small vegetable garden near her rundown home. She is tormented by guilt for what has happened to her husband and son and has forgotten how to be a wife, mother and friend. Eleven year old Ruby loves designing and building bridges and this fascination has given her the strength to overcome the tragedy of that night on the bridge. She still however misses her brother, feels pity for her father and yearns for the way her mother used to be.
Nessa, a young, mute runaway is returning to her childhood home in the hopes of finding her mother. When she finds that her mother has gone, and has no one else to turn to, Nessa finds shelter in an abandoned shack in the woods. Hungry, desperate and alone, she survives on stolen morsels from Sylvia’s garden until an accident and chance encounter with Ruby sets these three women on a collision course that will change them all profoundly.
A mesmerizing novel, I found it to be eloquently written and the descriptions of the landscape captivating. The impending hurricane, which serves as a backdrop to most of the story, added to the feeling of urgency. The characters were beautifully written and the women’s fragile emotional states were so tangible that you feel them teetering on the brink and you sensed that the slightest thing could break them and cause them to spiral out of control.
I would have liked for the connection between these three women to have occurred earlier in the novel allowing a more realistic timeline for their bonding, but I suppose the fact that they were kept separate from each other until almost the very end magnified for me that feeling of isolation and desperation that Sylvia, Ruby and Nessa were experiencing.
This was my first novel by T. Greenwood and having discovered that she has quite a large body of works, it will not be my last. A beautifully written novel, I give this 4/5 stars.
Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Books for providing me with an Advanced Reader copy in exchange for an honest review.