Pavarti Tyler's Reviews > Bridges: A Tale of Niagara

Bridges by D.K. LeVick
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's review
Jun 21, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction, first-reads
Recommended to Pavarti by: dk levick
Recommended for: history, fiction, niagra, 60s, historical fiction
Read in June, 2011

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book as a part of Novel Publicity's Blog Tour program. I am a blog tour host for them but receive no compensation and only participate for the books I want to, there is no requirement for a review or a positive endorsement as a participant in this program.

Bridges - A tale of Niagara is unlike any other historical fiction book I've read. Because it is neither purely historical (in the sense that there are huge chunks set in the 60s, but also into centuries past) nor is it purely fiction. Although the characters included in this story are fictional many of the events described are historically accurate, such as the Ice Bridge and the day Niagra stopped flowing. I learned a tremendous amount about the Falls and now, for the first time in my life, am inspired to go visit.

LeVick tells the story of 5 boys who brave the thundering river partially thanks to an old photograph they saw in a local soda shop, and partially because, as boys will do, none of them were willing to back down once the risky adventure was proposed. The story of Kevin and his friends spans the length of the novel and is the plot that as a reader you are the most emotionally invested in.

However, throught the book LeVick interweaves stories from Niagra itself. Each of these can stand alone as a short which would be entertaining and worth reading, but put together they create the books tone and the overriding influence of the river on the people who live there. The power of Niagra has to be considered a character within Bridges, because of the constancy of its presence. There is no question that while this is an entertaining and moving story that spans generations the real star is the Niagra itself.

LeVick touches on issues or race, class, social status and machismo in Bridges without losing focus on the central story he is telling. It takes a considerable amount of talent to weave such touchy subjects into a narrative without making it sound preachy or as if the author has an agenda. LeVick does this with great style and never pulls the reader out, but instead uses these points to deepen the themes within the plot line.

The only issue I had with the book was that at times it did feel a touch contrived in the effort to pull all of the stories together. I think it would have worked just fine without, for example, the Hermit's clarinet being in Laurence's story as well as Marty's. This book was expertly edited and has a beautiful and professional cover. One of the best examples of an Indie author matching up to and even surpassing the titles distributed by Traditional Publishing houses I've seen.

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