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The Last Bridge

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  1,022 ratings  ·  253 reviews
For ten years, Alexandra “Cat” Rucker has been on the run from her past. With an endless supply of bourbon and a series of meaningless jobs, Cat is struggling to forget her Ohio hometown and the rural farmhouse she once called home. But a sudden call from an old neighbor forces Cat to return to the home and family she never intended to see again. It seems that Cat’s mother ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published July 28th 2009 by Ballantine Books (first published 2009)
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Average rating 3.73  · 
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 ·  1,022 ratings  ·  253 reviews

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Melissa Crytzer Fry
Sep 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed every word of Teri Coyne’s debut novel – from the first line to the last. In fact, I was so engrossed and emotionally invested in the fate of the characters, that once I found the time to steal away to read, I couldn’t put the book down. I finished it the next day. This is a story of redemption, regret and rebirth.

The added ‘mystery’ of a suicide note and its meaning had me hooked throughout. The Last Bridge is a superb tale illustrating the importance of self-preservation, love and
Shellie (Layers of Thought)
May 19, 2009 rated it liked it
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.
May 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
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 rated it it was ok
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
Meredith Rankin
Jan 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Alex fled her abusive home years ago. Now she nurses her pain with bourbon and denial. She returns home 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
Jul 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 24, 2012 rated it did not like it
I finished this book in Nov. 2011. I'm giving it one star b/c I don't remember it at all in any way, but it left enough of an impact on me when i read it to send this email to a group of friends who were sharing book recommendations:

"trite, poorly written, ridiculous characters, depressing...and no real discernable plot. Although it's gotten good reviews for what that's worth. It's short so I forced myself to get through it...yuk beginning to end."

wow...but I know don't recall it all, even
May 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Nicole Fredericks
Aug 16, 2018 rated it liked it
This was a hard book to read-very graphic, but the characters were well developed. Just not exactly sure how I feel about it after finishing it very quickly...relieved it is over as it was tough to read, but tough to put down!
Jul 01, 2012 rated it really liked it

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 rated it really liked it
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 rated it it was ok
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.
Sep 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
I have been told that I am a lazy reader, of sorts. That one of my biggest faults as a reader (and, I suppose, as a reviewer) is that if the story doesn’t have one character that I can like or sympathize with or even love to hate…I can’t appreciate the story.

So – if you agree that makes me an unreliable reviewer, have a good day. If not, or if you are a better reader than I, then here’s my review of “The Last Bridge”.

It’s a mystery about the past and about family secrets. LOTS of family secrets
Jenee Rager
Jun 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Cat left her small town and family behind ten years ago after a horrifying tragedy changed her life. She's spent the years developing an alcohol addiction and trying to forget the life she left behind. Her mother's unexpected suicide brings her back home, and her strange suicide note "he's not who you think he is" leaves her searching for answers as well as healing.

This book was great. Easy to read, and it made me want to never put it down.
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book even though it isn't the type of story I usually go for. It is a very easy read. It is very realistic and portrays the struggles that multiple individuals encounter. There are some complicated family drama and I found myself wanting to know more about some characters while wishing some weren't mentioned since they weren't really relevant.
Kay Andrews
Dec 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Good book! Cat (Alex) is a 20something who had an abusive father & a weak mother. Her journey from childhood and dysfunctional adult was sad, enlightening and hopeful. I cannot imagine growing up with an abusive parent. So very sad.

I cheered for every tiny, positive step she was able to take.
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this is close to a 5 star.
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was a great read. Punt put it down. Finished it in 2days.
Aug 14, 2017 rated it liked it
another solid 3.5. the subject matter is difficult and disturbing, but the book was an easy read.
Dec 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
WOW! I felt like I was watching everything that happened to the characters from my own front porch! I didn't want to put this book down!
Jul 31, 2013 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.
Kira FlowerChild
Mar 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
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 ...more
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
Apr 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 01, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Julie Hedlund
Sep 27, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
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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. "
“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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