Title: Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak
Reviewer: Blaine H.
Star Rating: 3 Stars
Bridge of Clay is a book about the life of the Dunbar family. The Dunbar family consists of Michael and Penny Dunbar, and their four boys: Matthew, Clay, Tommy, and Henry. The entire story is narrated from Matthew’s point of view.
In most of the book, the story switches settings from the present to the past, when Michael and Penny met and fell in love. Penny was an immigrant from Poland who was taught by her father to play the piano. She moved to America and fell in love with Michael Dunbar. From there, they got married and had the four boys. Unfortunately, she suffered an early death, and the story tells exactly how that happened. After her death, Michael abandoned his children for quite some time. After some time has passed, he returns and it is incredibly awkward for everyone. Because he abandoned the children, the boys called him “The Murderer”.
The present-day part of the story tells the lives of the four boys, specifically Clay. In the book, Clay decides to build a bridge. He works on it throughout most of the book, and eventually his dad comes and helps him with it. In the story, there are also many secondary characters, including Abby Dunbar (Michael’s first wife), Penny’s father, and Carey Novac (Clay’s friend who he has feelings for). Suddenly, a tragedy occurs that sends Clay running away not to return until a special occasion at the end of the book. All the brothers were sad to find out he had run away, but were very happy when he arrived home.
The book starts out a little slowly. That was one part of the book that I didn’t like, that it took a few chapters for it to really get interesting. However, if you can be patient through the first part, the story really becomes engaging. Overall, the book had a very interesting plot, and I think it would be a very good read if you have the time. I highly recommend it if you like stories that flash back to the past and if you like stories that tell how people fall in love. This could also be enjoyed if you like reading about just the daily lives of teenagers. The book teaches the lesson that family should stick together, no matter the circumstances.
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