REVIEW: The Broken Bridge by Philip Pullman

REVIEW: The Broken Bridge by Philip Pullman

Childrens, Review, Teen/YA


Ginny is a sixteen-year-old half-Haitian girl living with her father in a small seaside village in Wales. She’s becoming a brilliant artist, just like her mother, who died when Ginny was a baby. Despite the isolation she sometimes feels, her life is turning out OK. Then her social worker cracks open her files and her world falls apart.

Ginny’s father has kept a devastating secret from her all her life. In fact, everything she thought she knew about her family and her identity is a lie. And now, to find out who she really is, Ginny must relive the dark tragedies in her past.

Book Details

Publisher: Open Road Media Teen & Tween (2 May 2017)
Format: Kindle Edition
Language: English

Buy it: Amazon


This is actually one of Pullman’s earlier works, and I think that’s probably the reason I didn’t click with it as much as I hoped. This is a coming of age story that deals with identity. Ginny is a mixed race girl living with her father in Wales, in a predominately white community where she feels like an outsider.

The Broken Bridge had the potential to be good, unfortunately the writing let it down (not something I ever thought I’d be saying about a Pullman book). The first half or so of the book just really dragged, I almost gave up at one point as nothing much had happened and I just hadn’t connected to the characters. I persevered and skim read a fair chunk of the book until I reach a part where things started to happen.

Unfortunately, even when the plot did pickup, it still all felt rather superficial. There were so many threads that could have been expanded to add depth to the story and round it out into a satisfying read. Instead it all felt a bit confused.

So I guess this review is generally pretty negative (it was a very disappointing read for me though), but the one character I did love was Joe Chicago. I would have loved to see more about this character as he was one of the few that actually had some depth to him.

If you’re looking for a book just to pass the time then this will probably do, but overall a fairly tedious read where not much happens, and even when it does it lacks any real depth. Disappointing.

N.B. A review copy was provided via Netgalley in return for my unbiased opinion.

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