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A Narrow Bridge

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  182 ratings  ·  40 reviews
Shortly after Orthodox Jewish Brooklynite Jacob Fischer puts his young family on a bus to visit relatives, the bus explodes in a stunning act of terrorism. HIs faith shattered, Jacob flees the comforts of his community and disappears. He lands up in a predominantly black town in rural Alabama, where he meets Rosie, the single mother of a young son. Their developing relatio ...more
Paperback, 296 pages
Published February 14th 2017 by Prospect Park Books
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Average rating 4.19  · 
Rating details
 ·  182 ratings  ·  40 reviews

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Angela M
Mar 08, 2017 rated it really liked it

"The whole world is a narrow bridge and we must not be afraid"

Sometimes the meaning of a book title escapes me, but in this case the title holds significant meaning. The chant that Jacob sings at the beginning of one of the classes he teaches young boys at the synagogue in Brooklyn stayed in my head, even though I didn't know the melody, as I read this heartbreaking story of a man who loses everything. The unthinkable happens and Jacob Fisher loses his wife and three children before his eyes in
Feb 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is not an unbiased review, because I published this debut novel. But there's a very good reason I chose it from the hundreds of submissions that didn't make the cut. This is a gripping, insightful, beautifully written story of how people can find hope and even embrace life after the worst tragedy strikes. It takes you into two very different worlds-- an Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn and a small town in rural Alabama whose focus is a Baptist church-- with two very different protagoni ...more
Leslie Lindsay
Dec 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Blazingly original debut by co-authors J.J. Gesher, A NARROW BRIDGE seeks to bring cultural, religious, and racial groups together through music, grief, and more.

After a childhood of rebellion, including drug abuse, Jacob Fisher has come to terms with his demons. Living as an Orthodox Jew in Brooklyn, his life is one of comfort and peace. Until the unthinkable happens and Jacob's world crumbles under the ruins of anguish.

What's a man to do but flee? He finds himself in a completely different w
Jul 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary, fiction
I would give this a 4.5. I was a very lucky goodreads giveaway winner of the well written book. It is actually written by two women authors. " A Narrow Bridge" is about a man named Jacob who is an Orthodox Jewish man. He has grown up in Brooklyn. When he is around 20, he gets mixed up in drugs and sent away to rehabilitate. When he gets home he marries and becomes a father to three children. His life is changed drastically when witnesses the deaths of his whole family when the bus they are on is ...more
Ellen Byron
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A beautifully moving depiction of a man torn apart by tragedy and healed by kind and caring strangers in a place far different from his home.
Linda Steighner
Jun 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: won
Jacob Fisher, an Orthodox Jewish cantor from Brooklyn, New York watches as his wife and three children die in a bus explosion. Unable to deal with his grief, he disappears wandering aimlessly ending up on the front steps of a Baptist Church in Brent Alabama. Completely broken and unable to speak, he is befriended by an elderly African American man, Mo who lets him find refuge in the church basement, where he slowly begins to heal. A Narrow Bridge is a beautiful story of the healing power of musi ...more
Feb 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jewish-lit
Engrossing, emotional story.
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: won-in-giveaways
I received a copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway.

This book was both beautiful and heartbreaking. I connected with the main character almost immediately, and although I was worried some of the details of Judaism might go over my head, the author did a great job of clarifying most of the traditions and rules described throughout the story. I did think the ending was a disappointment, but getting there was a deeply emotional, thoroughly engrossing experience.
Aug 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Loved the middle and found some beautiful quotes in here - the beginning and end were not as satisfying.
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very emotional book. Totally understandable how Jacob deals with his grief. I enjoyed learning more about the Jewish culture. However, I wish it had a different ending. Overall, a good quick read.
Mar 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An emotional story that will remain with you

A Narrow Bridge is an emotional story about identity, loss, and suffering that culminates in the rediscovery of one's own purpose and raison d'etre. The main protagonists are Jacob, an Orthodox Jewish teacher and cantor from Brooklyn, New York and Rosie, an African American teacher and single mother from Brent, Alabama but there are several others in the story that are equally memorable. Each confronts various events and circumstances that challenge t
p. s shore
Jun 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Thoroughly enjoyed this debut novel by J.J. Gesher! The character development is outstanding – anyone of them could carry their own sequel or prequel (hint, hint). I became so absorbed with each character and their lives that I had to keep turning the page to see what happened next and ended up finishing the book in one day. Highly recommend!
Mar 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An inspiring book about people with vastly different backgrounds finding they share much more in common than what was originally thought... A reminder that even during these difficult times, we are all humans trying to survive in this crazy world, and that we should approach each other with compassion and an open mind. Loved it!
Ruth-Anne Siegel
May 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My biggest take away from this book is the amount of emotion and clarity the authors convey with the least amount of words. Clear, beautiful language is used throughout the book. The characters are also fully realized and understood. This book is as close to perfect as you'll find. I recommend that you read the last few chapters at home or somewhere private unless you like to cry in public! ...more
Judy Unger
May 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I savored this book. From the moment I began reading, it was hard for me to put it down. The characters were alive and very real. I cared about them and the story was touching and inspiring. I highly recommend this book because it really involved me and held my attention despite everything else going on around me.
Celeste Gatty
Feb 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bridges worlds

A mesmerizing story of humanity and love that overcomes differences. The hope for the world is through understanding and this binds all together
Lori Tessel
Mar 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful story sharing the heartbreak of a family and the journey to recovery and healing.
Barbara Liberman
Apr 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Loved the developed characters & how life's unexpected turns lead to new directions. It was very well written. ...more
Mar 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
(view spoiler) ...more
Apr 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A Narrow Bridge by J.J. Gesher
I’ve really been spoilt for good books these last few weeks. My latest, A Narrow Bridge by J.J.Gesher which is the pen name for co-authors Joyce Gittlin and Janet B. Fattal. Together, Janet and Joyce have won several prestigious screenwriting awards, including the Geller Prize and the Screenwriting Award at the Austin Film Festival
It is a deeply moving story about love, loss and redemption. This is the kind of book you want to make sure you have plenty of time for r
"The whole world is a narrow bridge and we must not be afraid." The saying is taken from the great Hassidic (Orthodox Jewish) Rabbi Nhaman of Bratzlav. In Hebrew it sounds like this: Kol ha-olam kulo gesher tzar m’od v’ha-ikkar lo l’faheid k’lal. In English, the translation is:
“The whole world is a narrow bridge, and the essential thing is not to fear at all.”

I am the lucky recipient of this electronic novel as a Goodreads giveaway winner. I entered the giveaway hoping for a book which addressed
Marge Congress
Jan 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
Jacob, an orthdox man, watches his family blown up by a bomb. He goes numb and somehow wakes up much later in the South. The black community, particularly Rosie and Mo, take him under their wing and he becomes the custodian of their church. The interaction of the people with Jacob makes him heal somewhat, but Rosie figures out who he is and unites him with his mother. He tries to come back to New York. The ending is strange, and unfulfilling.
Rosemary Dreyer
Oct 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
3 3/4 Stars: A lovely book about horrific tragedy, grief, losing, and then eventually finding oneself. Great characters, mostly good writing. I hated the ending - it came out of nowhere, like the authors had to complete the book in that very moment. There were other weak writing moments, but the well-drawn characters helped lift it and kept me engaged.
Beverly B. Bright
A great read during a difficult year.

I having been reading many books during the pandemic. This is one that was highly entertaining, thoughtful and well written. The story deals with many of life's struggles in a believable way. Read this, you'll enjoy it.
Mar 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Excellent story, It was filled with excellent characters and the plot contained issues of suspence, love and Orthodox jewish life style in New York, and Southern Baptist negro church. Music. Surprise was it was written by two authors under on author name. I can recommend it wholeheartedly
Jul 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaway
Once I picked up this easy to read book I could not put it down. The story is very well written and keeps you interested. I highly recommend this book.
Oct 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great read!

Story grabs you and you cannot put it down. Characters you would never think to meet bond in a magical way
Mar 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sad but lovely

I really enjoyed this book. The view into the Jewish faith was interesting, as was the way that another faith was also able to comfort Jacob.
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