The Other Side of the Bridge


Author: Mary Lawson

Published: 2006

Genre: Fiction

About The Other Side of the Bridge: Arthur Dunn and Ian Christopherson live in a small community in Northern Ontario and their lives intertwine when Ian asks for a job on Arthur's farm.

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Review of The Other Side of the Bridge

The Dunn brothers grew up on a farm in Northern Ontario. Arthur, hard-working and quiet, was born to be a farmer. Jake, lazy and sly, was his mother's favourite and he hated the farm and everything associated with it. Although Jake left the area years ago, the brothers were still tied together by secrets.

Ian Christopherson, the son of the local doctor, didn't like that the entire town assumed he would follow in his father's footsteps. So he decided to do something unexpected and ask for a job on Arthur's farm. He had an additional motive: getting the job would allow him to be closer to Arthur's beautiful wife, Laura.

Ian nodded, and turned, his mind filled to the brim with the nearness of her, her overwhelming presence, and made his way down the muddy track to where Arthur Dunn was plodding up and down the furrows behind his horses. Arthur Dunn, so solid, so dull, so obviously unworthy of such a wife. Arthur Dunn, who, when he saw Ian approaching, halted his team and came across the field to meet him, and said yeah, sure, he could use a hand, and would Ian like to start this coming Saturday?

...from page 12

I read this book immediately after Crow Lake and of the two I liked this one best, mostly because I really liked Arthur.

The book took place in Northern Ontario in the same area as Crow Lake. The landscape and the weather featured prominently (as they should) and race relations were explored, although not in a lot of detail. The story switched back and forth between Arthur's and Ian's youth and we were given some taste of what life was like on the homefront during World War II.

As I said, I really liked Arthur. He was quiet and straightforward and honourable and reminded me of people I know. I also liked Ian although he frustrated me a bit, especially near the end. There weren't many surprises in the story but with writing this good, surprises weren't necessary.

Lawson is an extremely talented writer and I recommend both books without hesitation.

Reviewed by Lynn Bornath, April 2008.

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More Reviews

‘The triumph of humanity.’ Penelope Lively, The Guardian, 7 October, 2006
“ enthralling read, both straightforward and wonderfully intricate.”
Diane Kristine, Blogcritics Magazine, 16 December 2007
“...a tender yet catastrophic story of family expectation, responsibility, and rivalry, with exquisite imagery and detail.”
Geranium Cat, Geranium Cat's Bookshelf, 27 June 2008
“Often painful, it is utterly enthralling...”


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Added 11 April 2008.
Updated 04 September 2013.