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The Last Bridge: A Novel

3.71  ·  Rating Details ·  926 Ratings  ·  244 Reviews
BONUS: This edition contains a The Last Bridge discussion guide.

For ten years, Alexandra “Cat” Rucker has been on the run from her past. But a sudden call from an old neighbor forces Cat to return to her Ohio hometown—and to the family she never intended to see again. Cat’s mother is dead, and she’s left a disturbing and confusing suicide note that reads: Cat, He isn’t who
ebook, 240 pages
Published July 28th 2009 by Ballantine Books (first published 2009)
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Shellie (Layers of Thought)
May 19, 2009 Shellie (Layers of Thought) rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: addicts, recovering addicts, those who love them
Recommended to Shellie (Layers of Thought) by: Book Browse -First Impressions advanced copy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 04, 2009 Tracy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I 'won' this book as an advance reader copy. To be honest, there's no way that I would have picked this off the shelf on my own; I don't even have a Goodreads Bookshelf/Tag that fits!

Having said that, I enjoyed the book. Well, it wasn't all rainbows and root beer floats, so "enjoyed" may not be the proper term.

The main character, Cat, is dealing with the suicide of her mother, encounters with estranged family and friends, and flashbacks to her childhood with an abusive father. Good times, eh?

Jul 23, 2009 Tara rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was very much looking forward to reading this book, it sounded from the description as if it would be right up my literary alley. I was, however, very disappointed. I found this book derivative, predictable, and in parts, very annoying. This was also the third book that I have read recently that features a heroine that is, if not an outright alchoholic, at minimum an extremely heavy drinker. I understand that alchoholism knows no gender, race or ethnic bias, but it seems as if the authors have ...more
This is one ‘powerful’ debut! Written with such empathy and understanding that one can easily imagine the author experienced this first hand, though I hope for her sake she didn’t. The title of the novel is explained in the book on page 100. “Let’s just say this is the last bridge. I’ve burned all of the others. I have nowhere else to go.”

The protagonist of the novel is Alexandra ‘Cat’ Rucker. Living in New York working as a waitress in an ‘adult’ bar she is a young women with a tragic past, no
Jul 01, 2009 Rita rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 14, 2009 Robin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Christine
Recommended to Robin by: Free Copy from Goodreads
Sent to me by Goodreads, this is an advance copy. The book will go on sale July 28th. I looks to be a quickread. The first chapter is hilarious! Promoted for fans of Jodi Picoult. I was hooked.
This was indeed a quickread. I couldn't put it down!
It told the story of Alex (Cat) who was abused (sexually/physically) by her father. Running away from that life, she finds herself pregnant with either her first-love's child or her fathers. Either way, it is something that she can't handle, so after he
Aug 01, 2009 Dorie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A young woman returns home for the first time in 10 years when her mother commits suicide. The novel alternates chapters that tell the history of physical and sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of her father.

This was a difficult and emotional read, which for me means the author succeeded in establishing empathy with Alex. The story carried me along and there were no spots where the story dragged. The secondary characters very well drawn, sympathetic but with enough flaws to make them realist
May 22, 2009 Staci rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Staci by: Lisa
Shelves: 2009-reads
I honestly can't believe that this is Teri Coyne's first novel. She absolutely grabbed me with her very first sentence and I had to finish this book before I did anything else. The plot is gruesome in nature...a mother commits suicide which brings home the wayward daughter. Alex spends time "cleaning" up the mess left behind and trying to put to rest the demons from her past. The suspense was perfect and the pacing of this novel was phenomenal. I highly recommend this to anyone who is up for a p ...more
Jul 01, 2012 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

A great and easy read, well-written and interesting. A great story of screwy family, hurt, honesty, and the crooked path of healing.
Nov 14, 2011 Ms.Smoker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I finished this book in one day! It was such a quick and engaging read. The subject matter was sad/disturbing, but I wanted to find out the truth behind it all.
Jul 24, 2009 Susan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Difficult subject to read about although it did hold my interest to the end. Found the flashbacks a little confusing. A couple of interesting twists to the story.
Laura Droege
Alex fled her abusive home years ago. Now she nurses her pain with bourbon and denial. She returns hom after her father's hospitalization and her mother's suicide. Her mother has left a note for Alex: "He's not who you think he is."

Who is she referring to? There are plenty of men to choose from. Is it her father, who has sexually and physically abused her? Her brother? Her former lover, who has suddenly reappeared? Alex doesn’t want to deal with any of this. She avoids her brother and sister an
Kira FlowerChild
This is one of the most depressing books I've read in a long time. The main character is an alcoholic, other characters not only betray each other but mothers abandon children and so do fathers, there is both physical and sexual abuse as major themes throughout the book as well as other characters besides the main character suffering from alcoholism. The only reasons I finished the book are 1) it is a fairly short book and 2) I am suffering a bout of insomnia and I was hoping it would help me sl ...more
Jul 31, 2013 Katy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Also posted here on my blog!

“Two days after my father had a massive stroke my mother shot herself in the head. Her suicide was a shock—not the fact that she killed herself but the way in which she did it.”

I am not sure how I feel about this book. It was a quick read but it was also difficult to get through. I wonder if people who have been through abuse read stories about abuse to relate and if it makes them feel less alone. I don’t have any experience with abuse, especially nothing like this. W
Crystal Starr Light
"This is how you justify your choices?"

NOTE: I received this book as part of the Amazon Vine Program

Book two from my Vine program, this one is quite the departure from the mystery, The Night Watchman.
Alex "Cat" returns to the place of her birth at her mother's suicide. There she receives her mother's suicide note addressed to Alex: "He's not what you think." Slowly, we unearth Cat's tragic childhood and learn about her present situation--and see that Alex has a choice: to move on or stay in the
Cat’s mother leaves her a suicide note with a cryptic message. The Last Bridge by Teri Coyne's is about Cat’s search for the meaning behind this message and behind her mother’s suicide. On a deeper level, Coyne's novel is about how Cat struggles to rebuild relationships with her siblings and ex-boyfriend. Along the way, Cat must relive painful memories of her father’s abuse.

I have mixed feelings about Coyne's first novel, which I received as part of an early review program. In the author’s ackno
Apr 08, 2009 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
By looking at the cover of Teri Coyne's novel, nothing is given away. There is no way to know that within the pages of this debut novel is an intense, emotional story of a woman tortured by her past. Once you read this book, you can look again at the cover and even the simplicity of it is understood.

THE LAST BRIDGE is the story of Alexandra "Cat" Rucker: abused, alcoholic, damaged. After being gone from her Ohio family home for ten years, she is forced to return when her mother commits a carefu
Aug 28, 2015 Beverly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Every now and then I read a book that reminds me to be grateful for my life. The Last Bridge by Teri Coyne is such a book. Alexander “Cat” Rucker is summoned home by a call from her neighbor. When Cat left her hometown 10 years ago, she never intended to see the place or the people again in this lifetime and the next if she had any in say in it. But, Cat’s mother shoots herself in the head after her father suffered a massive heart attack and the neighbor was instructed to call Cat. As Cat starts ...more
Teri Coyne's first novel is a fast read, but far from an easy one. She has given her protagonist, Alex "Cat" Rucker, a slew of issues, and a storyline that's meant to force her to start confronting them.

Cat (real name Alexandra, nicknamed "Alley Cat" as a child, later shortened to "Cat") has spent the last ten years trying to leave her hometown and family behind. She's been in and out of college and a series of dead-end jobs, and the one constant in her life has been alcohol. But if you don't de
Julie Hedlund
This book was nearly impossible to put down. I was hooked from the first sentence and never looked back. The premise is a young woman, Cat, who comes back to hometown after her mother commits suicide. Cat had left home ten years prior after having severed all contact with her parents. When she returns she is wasted, both literally and figuratively.[return][return]As Cat begins to investigate the circumstances surrounding her mother's suicide and attempts to interpret a cryptic note her mother le ...more
Oct 25, 2012 Pam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Can't recommend
Actually read the paperback. Since Goodreads is not affiliated with Amazon any longer it is difficult sometimes to get the correct book into my account, especially older ones. It is enough to make me not want to continue with this but I'm still trying.
Anyway, about this book. Would love to have given it a great rating as I see many others have. I think giving it 3 stars is a little more than it deserves. In this case it is almost like an E for effort. It is a debut novel but I've read many other
I received Teri Coyne’s The Last Bridge from the Early Reviewer program and read it in about five hours – partly because it arrived late and I wanted to have the review done before the next round of books. Nevertheless, even without that incentive, I would absolutely have devoured this book.

From the very first sentence, Coyne hooked me and kept me dangling on a thread to find out what would be the next revelation of Cat Rucker’s past. Her mother’s suicide, as well as the cryptic note she leaves
Jul 19, 2009 Karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was very fortunate to win an advance copy from a Goodreads giveaway -- thanks! On to my impressions of the book. To begin, I have to say that this book is not my favorite genre, but a kind of book I read occasionally. It's a quick & easy read and quite short. My compliments to the author for crafting a believable story that did make me want to read more. Pros: believable main character and her situation, which is a grim one. The author didn't sugar coat it (although I did feel the boy Alex ...more
Jul 22, 2009 Mandy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was one of the lucky people to have won this book from the Giveaway earlier this month. And I say lucky, because I wouldn't have picked it up if I had seen it on a shelf. But I'm glad I did.

When I first picked up the book, I felt the plot was a little too forced and the characters were a little too flat. Especially Cat, the main character. She just felt like every stereotyped teenage-angst-causing-years-spent-in-therapy, only-to-find-that-booze-was-the-best-cure-for-the-depression-and-self-loa
Jun 06, 2009 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It has been a long time since a book kept me up all night, but I could not put this book down.

"The Last Bridge," jumps back and forth from the past and the present, sharing the difficult life of the main character Cat. Cat suffers through terrible emotional, physical, and sexual abuse at the hands of her father and escapes by sketching a comic book version of herself escaping "The Hand" of abuse.

She begins a relationship with a boy named Addison who loves her unconditionally. Although Addison ca
The Last Bridge of the title has many metaphorical interpretations. We use expressions about bridges over and over in our every day lives: - - “I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it”, or “Don’t go burning all your bridges”, the final bridge we cross when we leave our earthly plane for our heavenly one, or maybe like Simon & Garfunkel we want to build that “Bridge Over troubled Waters”. Alexandra “Alley Cat” Rucker has crossed many bridges, both real and metaphorical and she’s also burned ...more
Tori Hoeschler
Felt Rushed and Incomplete
I received this book as an ARC from What attracted me to it in the first place was the publisher’s mention of Teri Coyne having a similar writing style to Jodi Picoult (an author whom I love). Whereas it is obvious Coyne has great potential as a writer, it is equally obvious that “The Last Bridge” is her first literary effort and a far cry from the more fully developed and engrossing plot lines of Picoult’s novels.
As I mentioned in my heading, the story
David Gordon
Aug 03, 2009 David Gordon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to David by: Received as an advance giveaway
Shelves: reviews, first-read
Teri Coyne's, The Last Bridge, was a compelling read. It was hard for me to put it down. The relationship that developed between Cat and her father seemed too farfetched, but then reality that that guy probably does exist out there somewhere kept me turning pages.

I did have problems with some aspects of the novel as they just didn't seem to make any sense to me. I mean why does Cat's mother commit suicide, the method, and then making sure she didn't leave a physical mess, but forgets about, or d
Aug 04, 2011 Amanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
For most of her life, Cat has lived a confused, tormented existence under the thumb of her abusive father. After Cat's mother mysteriously commits suicide and leaves a provocative suicide note, Cat is suddenly thrown into a new world of uncertainty: is the man who has been abusing her really her father?

Written in a clear, stunning new voice, The Last Bridge by Teri Coyne is part mystery, part literary and primarily a personal journey through the life of a young woman. While the novel is billed a
Oct 17, 2009 Nancy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I read a couple of reviews of this book and thought that it might be something I would like. Then, I saw in the paper that the author, Teri Coyne, a Mt. Lebanon native, would be speaking at our library. I went to hear her speak and bought the book there.

I really wanted to like the book, having "met" her. At first, I was a bit disappointed in the writing, but then I really got into the story and ended up liking it. I enjoyed some of the local references like Atria's, the Viking motel, Mercy Hospi
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Teri Coyne is an alumna of New York University. In addition to writing fiction, Coyne wrote and performed stand-up comedy for many years. The Last Bridge is her first novel. She divides her time between New York City and the North Fork of Long Island. "
More about Teri Coyne...

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“The hardest part of leaving isn't the looking back; it isn't the loss you feel for a place or people; it's the fear that what you intended to leave isn't ever going to go, and that what you really want, you're never going to get.” 2 likes
“I looked at the people around me and wondered who they were. What made us a family? Certainly not a common experience, as each of us had a different story, and although we shared characters, the villain in mine might be the hero in Wendy's” 2 likes
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