Published in 2018 by Pan Macmillian Australia
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Page Count: 579
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
The breathtaking story of five brothers who bring each other up in a world run by their own rules. As the Dunbar boys love and fight and learn to reckon with the adult world, they discover the moving secret behind their father’s disappearance. At the center of the Dunbar, family is Clay, a boy who will build a bridge—for his family, for his past, for greatness, for his sins, for a miracle. The question is, how far is Clay willing to go? And how much can he overcome?
I was given an uncorrected proof copy of this book from Pan Macmillian Australia in exchange for an honest review, this does impact my thoughts on the book.
However, I feel I am at a loss for words. How does one attempt a review on such a masterpiece as this? Markus Zusak has for a long time been one of my favourite authors, The Book Thief being one of my all time favourite books, so you can definitely imagine I was excited for this!
To say that this has been unlike anything I’ve ever read before, is an understatement. Bridge of Clay is an ode from one brother to another, and every step of the journey was so powerful, I couldn’t help but be moved by Markus’s intricate prose, where the past and the present weave so perfectly together, I felt like I was sitting right beside Matthew Dunbar as we went into the heartbreaking but uplifting past, getting to know the Dunbar boys as they grew up, and getting to know the back story of their parents, and their parents before them.
I loved the structure of this novel, broken down into eight parts, each previous part adding a significance to what would come next, and I could not envision what was to come, but loved every moment! I feel like I grew so attached to Penelope, the Dunbar matriarch, reading about her from a little girl, I could feel her love for her sons, and their utter adorance to their mother, just embedded so much throughout the story, but mostly, Andrew’s immediate fury towards the murderer (who, might I say, made me gasp when his identity was revealed), and the Dunbar boys devotion to one other.
I remember reading that the author “wasn’t the same person” from when he started and finished this book, and to tell the truth, I feel like I will often think back to Matthew, Henry, Rory, Tommy, and of course dear Clay, who holds so much title significance it makes me ache. This book felt like one of the most powerful journeys I’ve been on in some time, one that will stay with me.