Bridge of Clay

Image of Bridge of Clay (Signed Edition)
Release Date: 
October 9, 2018
Knopf Books for Young Readers
Reviewed by: 

“In the beginning there was one murderer, one mule and one boy, but this isn’t the beginning . . . Yes, always for us there was a brother, and he was the one—the one of us amongst five of us—who took all of it on his shoulders.”

The five Dunbar brothers are living with their menagerie of pets in the perfect chaos of a house made by their own rules. Today, the father who walked out on them long ago walks back in. And so, the life of Clay, the quiet one with a harrowing secret, is about to change forever. He is the one who will build a bridge, for greatness, for his sins. A miracle and nothing less. From a grandfather, whose parents’ passion for the ancient Greeks still lights up their lives, to a mother and father who fell in love over a mislaid piano, to the present day, where five sons laugh and fight and reckon with the adult word.

Bridge of Clay is an extraordinarily brilliant but tragically poignant tale of family secrets and how one boy risks everything to save it all. New York Times bestselling author Markus Zusak makes his much-anticipated return with this powerful and deeply genuine story. He is the author of six novels including The Book Thief and I Am the Messenger

“Let me tell you about our brother. The fourth Dunbar boy named Clay. Everything happened to him.

We were all of us changed through him.”

Bridge of Clay is an enormously ambitious undertaking and Zusak’s views about the power of love are refreshing and inspiring. A novel of contrasts, it shows a world that is both kind and loving but also cruel and hateful. The character development is intricate and extraordinary, allowing for a deep understanding of all that is possible within the realm of the human spirit—an animated and heartfelt journey that is filled with moving descriptions of family and loss and the quest for a miracle.

Be advised this novel is not an easy book to read and takes a tremendous amount of effort and stamina, but the completion is phenomenally rewarding. Interwoven with touches of romance and wit: it is obvious that Zusak was bound and determined to celebrate the quirks and idiosyncrasies of flawed people living in an imperfect world. Beautifully written and thought provoking, Bridge of Clay will tug at your heart strings; and at the essential core of the novel is the delightfully uplifting message that life tends to find a way to make things right in the end.