BRIDGING BEYOND by Kathleen Benner Duble


Age Range: 12 & up
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A guilt-ridden teen relives her great-grandmother’s past in a creepy psychological thriller that eventually buckles beneath thematic overload. When her best friend ends up in a coma, 15-year-old Anna is paralyzed by guilt at encouraging Jessica to drink and drive. Worse, her beloved great-grandmother Mimi dies soon after. In search of a fresh start, Anna’s mother moves her daughters into Mimi’s old house, where Anna’s guilt, grief, and sense of dislocation are compounded by a series of vivid dreams—some delightful, some terrifying—in which she seems to become Mimi herself in her scandalous youth. Anna’s self-obsessed wallowing is realistically portrayed, but also a bit tiresome; her dreams of the entrancing young Mimi and the desperate joie de vivre of her hedonistic pals are far more agreeable. Duble spins a number of intriguing threads in her debut: Anna’s present inability to face Jessica’s family, her troubled relationship with her mother, a mysterious old caretaker, the dangers of drinking, and the healing powers of music and art. Mimi’s past features an assortment of dysfunctional families, an amnesia victim, a pair of tragic romances, and a near-death experience on a railroad bridge. Unfortunately, none of them has a chance to receive satisfactory development before the author starts off on another. By the time she drags in the pseudo-science of “genetic memories” to explain away Anna’s dreams, any willing suspension of disbelief has been shattered. In the end, it’s all just too much. (author’s note) (Fiction. 12+)

Pub Date: May 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-399-23637-6
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: Philomel
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2002


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