The Last Bridge
Ballantine, May 25 2010, $15.00
A decade has passed since then seventeen years old Alexandra “Cat” Rucker fled her abusive father. She has no plans of ever coming home as she earns a living as a cocktail waitress at a strip joint. However, the alcoholic Cat learns from a family neighbor back in Wilton, Ohio that her mom committed suicide leaving behind a cryptic message on stationary "Cat, He isn't who you think he is. Mom xxxoooo."
Cat goes home to a cold reception from her siblings Jared and Wendy. None of the three has any idea what their mom meant while their father lies in a coma following a stroke. Meanwhile as Cat poorly faces her past; her first lover Addison Watkins offers her more than just condolences, but she only trusts alcohol.
Cat is not a likable person, but makes the tale because of her alcoholic nastiness. Readers will understand her belligerence towards her siblings as her brother was a welcomed athlete and her sister the perfect obedient princess while she was disobedient, overweight and frumpy and the townsfolk chose to ignore her dad’s abuse towards her and her mom (mindful of Kitty Genovese in 1964 Queens). Not an easy read with the focus on domestic violence and incest, but readers will want to cross the rickety Last Bridge to learn what traumas in her childhood made the quarrelsome adult Cat.