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The Bridge at Valentine

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3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  46 ratings  ·  13 reviews
In this remarkable retelling of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, The Bridge at Valentine presents a realistic and poignant portrayal of life in 1890's Idaho. July Caldwell, the daughter of a sheepman, and Rory Morrow, the son of a cattleman, find themselves embroiled in their fathers' bitter feud to control the rangeland. The battle over grazing rights pits family against f ...more
ebook, 240 pages
Published October 26th 2010 by Tres Picos Press (first published August 1st 2010)
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Adrienne Crezo
Imagine this: a retelling of Romeo and Juliet set in 1890s Idaho. This is Renee Thompson’s debut novel, The Bridge at Valentine. One family keeps sheep and the other cattle, and–embroiled in a bitter rivalry over grazing land–tensions between their respective families escalate when young Julia “July” Caldwell and Rory Morrow fall in love.

But their obstacles are larger than the difference between a shepherd and a cattleman: July’s family is Mormon, Rory’s gentile. When your love resists the rules
...more
Mary
The land makes demands of the people who claim it. Those of us who live in cities surrounded by concrete and florescent light, sometimes forget this. But in the 19th century, when the majority of the US population was still living off the land and subject to the weather’s fickle temper, the knowledge was instinctual. When land was contested the very life of a community was at risk.

In Renee Thompson’s debut, The Bridge at Valentine, cattle and sheep ranchers feud over contested Idaho grazing lan
...more
Michele
Romeo and Juliet in the Idaho Frontier
This is the very well written tale of a Mormon, Idaho sheep-farming family named Caldwell, which takes place in the late 1800s. Renee Thompson paints a beautiful visual portrait of the land and fills it with well-developed, three dimensional characters. It's a family saga, to be sure, with a Romeo and Juliet love story featuring the sheep farmer's daughter, Julia (or July) and the "gentile" cattleman's son, Rory. Filled with tragedy and triumph, joy and sorr
...more
Karyn Hall
The comparison of Renee Thompson's debut novel The Bridge at Valentine to Romeo and Juliet is understandable and accurate in terms of a deep love not accepted by the couple's parents. That's as far as the similarities go. July, the protagonist in this love story, has the strength and independence of spirit to make her own choices and mistakes. And the man she loves is just as strong-willed. The creative and unpredictable ways they resolve the conflict between their values and their relationship ...more
Roxanne
6/19/11 Last night I found myself wondering how Renee did this... go from the idea of two kids from opposing backgrounds to the idea of the bridge cable breaking, but not just breaking - snapping, arcing up slowly, slowly, slashing slashing, slashing downward, the noise of the falling, baahing sheep fading, brother screaming fading, fading...
that one scene keeps replaying in my head, happening so slowly in my mind, yet occuring in an instant were it real... one of those indelible story events...
...more
Kari
WILLA Award Nominee
Idaho, 1840s. A Romeo and Juliet story. July, daughter of a sheep farmer, falls in love with Rory, son of a cattleman. Star-crossed love, no less tragic for being inevitable.
Jenosla
I loved it. Like Water for Elephants, Secret Life of Bees, Out Stealing Horses...and now The Bridge at Valentine. Certain stories were meant to be told. I've found a new favorite.
Roxie
great read...keeps you thinking long after you read it...great gift
Laurie
This is the City of Woodland One Read choice for 2014. Thompson will be here to visit the high schools, talk at a public luncheon and she will be giving a talk at the library: all on October 30.
I am only 35 pages into the story. The beginning is pretty exciting!
The story turned out to be pretty good. It is definitely good historic fiction in its depiction of rural Idaho in the late 1800's.
The basic thread of love aka Romeo and Juliet is OK - The setting with the competition for the range betwee
...more
Michelle
Read this years ago when it first came out. Was thumbing through my copy the other day and realized I never added it to Good Reads. Such a Lovely Read.
Justin Tyner
Sad tale of star-crossed lovers.
Jo
I thought I would really like this story but the writing doesn't flow well and everything seems one dimensional. If it hadn't been touted as a Romeo and Juliet remake I don't think I would have come up with that on my own.
Renee Thompson
Aug 28, 2010 Renee Thompson rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to read my debut novel; I'm grateful, and delighted every time someone drops a note to let me know they liked it.
Stephanie
Stephanie marked it as to-read
Jul 25, 2015
Shannon Ross
Shannon Ross marked it as to-read
Nov 22, 2014
Megan
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Sep 23, 2014
Dena Martin
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Sep 10, 2014
Karen Galber
Karen Galber marked it as to-read
Jul 19, 2014
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Would we survive times such as these? 1 4 Apr 19, 2011 08:55PM  
4189232
Renée Thompson’s second novel, THE PLUME HUNTER (Torrey House Press, December 2011) is a moving story of conflict, friendship, and love.

PLUME follows the life of Fin McFaddin, a late-nineteenth century Oregon outdoorsman who takes to plume hunting — killing birds to collect feathers for women’s hats — to support his widowed mother. In 1885, more than five million birds were killed in the United S
...more
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