A Bridge Back

Description of  A Bridge Back

Eighteen years ago, on a stormy night, the worst tragedy to ever hit Mount Kelven occurred on a lift bridge over the Esarno River. Many said it was caused by two reckless young people on their way to a Justice of the Peace.

For 18 years, Nate Morrissey has stayed away from his hometown of Mount Kelven. He didn’t even return for his grandfather’s funeral, or to try to stop Laura’s wedding. But this long absence is about to end.

A documentary is being filmed in Mount Kelven about a now prominent government official’s role in events connected to that tragedy. Nate, a New York lawyer, is assigned by his firm to go to Mount Kelven and investigate the revelations this documentary will make about a scandal involving the government official, now a client of the firm. Nate checks into an old run-down motel, hoping that this will keep him out of the eye of old family and friends, but just the opposite occurs.

The owner of the motel, a single woman in her mid-thirties, is trying to buy and renovate the historic hotel once owned by Nate’s grandfather. As he is drawn into this endeavor, Nate will learn not only how his past is connected to his client’s, but how that connection led to the lift bridge tragedy. He will also discover the haunting secret long harbored by Laura, his former lover.

Reviews of A Bridge Back

Patrick Garry has succeeded in writing a gripping emotional novel that claims your attention on the first page.  With witty characters and heart gripping revelations, A Bridge Back is a very satisfying read that shows us among many things, that by always looking back you can’t see in front of you.  I would highly recommend this to anyone looking for a great book!
-Kristina Barrett, Book Reviewer for Powell’s Books

A Bridge Back is a gripping novel. It had me spellbound from the start. It will bring you through a variety of emotions, and keep you on the edge of your seat in anticipation of the truth. Mt. Kelven is a beloved town that has been hurting for the past 18 years. The truth enables everyone to be set free and finally move on with their lives for good. It was a wonderful novel from beginning to end. Many lovable characters and exciting pages! A Bridge Back is a novel of the past, present and the future. It is the realization that all three make us who we are and what we will be. It is self-discovery and understanding. I would recommend this book to any reader. It will capture you and you will not be disappointed.
 -Tiffany Schlarman,  Book Reviewer for A Cozy Reader’s Corner Reviews

This book is very well done. The dramatic tension and the mysteries presented at the beginning unravel at a smooth pace, and the description of the accident that acts as a catalyst for the rest of the story is clear, evocative, and very effective. The dialogue is solid; the characters are engaging and well-developed; and the author has a very readable style of prose.
Writer’s Digest Book Awards

“I had a hard time putting the book down. The characters are all very complex but also very real and the author does a good job of developing each of them. I also thought his description of the setting, Mount Kelven, was very well done and I was able to picture the town very clearly in my head. Honestly, I would recommend this book to anyone interested in well thought out characters who are easy to relate to and, to anyone interested in the journey involved in freeing oneself from their past.”
-April Hanson, ReviewTheBook.com

A Bridge Back is a novel full of intrigue, tragedies and dysfunctional people. Patrick M. Garry is a talented/gifted writer who excels at weaving simple, yet complex stories about real people and real problems. Can Nate and Laura change 18-year-old attitudes in a week or two? Can they begin new lives and forget the tragic past? Should there be a happy ending for Nate after 18 years of self-centered detachment and selfishness? Will Laura ever find some happiness? Is the story believable? No, but then again…yes, in a dysfunctional, true sense of life. Patrick Garry is a pro and I like his style. You might too.
Kaye Trout’s Book Reviews

“The emotion you feel while reading A Bridge Back by Patrick M. Garry will have you hooked. Excellence from beginning to end. You will not be able to put this one down. I highly recommend grabbing a chair and heading to the beach and become engulfed in the lives of Nate and Laura. You will soon realize that happy endings are not always necessary and be consumed with a peace in your heart.”
-Review for Written Arts Awards

“Looking at the almost eerie cover of A Bridge Back I was overcome with a feeling of unknown dread at what could be between the pages. A bridge can enable you to travel away from and bring you back. At times, you may not want to face what the bridge is bringing you back to. Happy endings are not necessary; sometimes just ending is all that is needed.

Mount Kelven is home to a tragedy that has Nate Morrissey leaving town to avoid the pain. Eighteen-years ago, on a dreary, stormy night Nate’s parents and the father of his girlfriend, Laura, are killed on a lift bridge while pursuing the teens to a Justice of the Peace. With their lives ripped apart, the young lovers struggle to continue a relationship that both want in their heart so badly to continue, but neither can.

When Nate must travel back to Mount Kelven on assignment for the firm he works for, the past hits him directly in his face. The case he is working on involves the accident that took the lives of those close to him. Having mixed emotions concerning reunions of those from his past he quickly settles into many of his old relationships as if not a day has passed, except for his relationship with Laura.

With intense raw emotion and a great plot that will keep you guessing. A Bridge Back by Patrick M. Garry will hook you from beginning to end. I especially liked the relationship between Nate and misunderstood Able who had been the operator of the lift bridge all those years ago. A Bridge Back is a most perfect book for someone to read on a cold winter day to warm a soul’s heart.”
-Danelle Drake, Book Reviewer for Reader Views

Patrick Garry has written an interesting book that delves into how the past affects our current decisions, and that probes the question of whether one can ever go back and reclaim past happiness. The characters are believable, as is the portrayal of small town life. Readers will want to discover the secrets that are carefully revealed, and to find out what happens to Nate and Laura. This book is recommended for current fiction readers.
Booksie’s Blog (view full review here)

A Bridge Back, by Patrick M. Garry, is a well-written, page-turner, psychological mystery. Eighteen years ago, on a stormy night, Nate and Laura ran away to elope against the wishes of her parents. Laura left a note, but as they arrived at the Justice of the Peace, they decided to wait until after college. Both sets of parents drove hurriedly to reach them before they married, but ran off a lift bridge into a party boat of children. It was the worst tragedy to ever hit Mount Kelven.

Garry has portrayed the complex feelings and emotions of past regret and guilt to add a neurotic and painful twist to his characters and their interactions. It gives the reader insight about how people deal with traumatic events in their lives and how these events shape their lives. The plot twists and turns and does not end up as expected, which is a nice surprise. A Bridge Back is worth the read.”
J. Kaye’s Book Reviews

Patrick M. Garry’s new novel, A Bridge Back, is a novel about remorse and redemption. Garry has crafted an emotionally stunted character who, despite blustering bravado, is an appealing, optimistic child. Readers will be caught up in this story of redemption and will struggle along with him to untangle the affairs of eighteen years ago. [He] provides insight into the various ways humans deal with traumatic events and the long-term ramifications. As an exploration of guilt, redemption and regret, A Bridge Back provides an engaging read.

A bridge accident is something just about everyone can relate to since the collapse of 35W in Minneapolis, and in this the reader instantly relates to Patrick Garry’s new novel, A Bridge Back. The novel is a flashback to a horrible bridge incident that leaves two families shattered and two lovers torn apart.”
GroovyReviews (view full review here)

A Bridge Back is a very quick read, the prose flows smoothly allowing the reader to fly through page after page without even noticing it. The characters we encounter are fairly multidimensional, each of them with their little quirks and their own past. This is a very enjoyable book about dealing with the pains of our past, and getting through them. Being an avid horror and thriller fan, I did not expect to truly enjoy this book, and I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised. If you are a fan of redemption tales, then pick yourself up a copy of this. It is an excellent book with very few flaws. And the flaws it has are so minor that you probably won’t even know they are there. Again, I highly recommend this book, enjoy!
-Kristen Dondero Payne, Book Reviewer for Odyssey Reviews

Listed in USA Books News “What is Hot, New and Noteworthy in the World of Books.”
USA Book News

Patrick Garry’s new novel, A Bridge Back, centers on a horrible bridge incident that leaves two families shattered and two lovers [Nate Morrissey and Laura Blegen] torn apart …  With the help of two new friends, Carmen and Abel, Nate uncovers the truth of the “accident.” Carmen is the owner of a rundown motel who long ago had a crush on Nate. She is charismatic and draws the reader to root for her … Abel, the old bridge operator, is just as loveable. He is now working as a janitor and uses his connections to dig up medical records, bank records, and even prison records for Nate. Abel is the best-written character in the book. … Another wonderfully written character is Nate’s grandfather. Even though this character is dead, he is crucial to understanding Nate’s character.  … Ultimately, Nate discovers that the only way to his future is a bridge to the past.
-Twin Cities Daily Planet

Patrick M. Garry’s book A Bridge Back is a quick read full of mystery, suspense and romance that will delight any reader who wants a trip into a real world fantasy. Hero Nate has left many loose ends in his life unresolved until a reporter reopens the tragic events that shaped his life…. [Readers] soon learn that Nate hasn’t allowed himself to become involved with any woman since the loss of his first love when both his parents and her father die and her mother is left paralyzed for life….Overall, readers will find the characters well portrayed and strongly affected by the same challenges that Nate must face…  Readers will flip pages as the mystery of what really happened to Nate’s family unfolds.
The Compulsive Reader (view full review here)

This is a great book. It takes Nate back to his home town after he has been gone for many years.  He hasn’t been back since his parents died in a tragic accident on a bridge while trying to stop him from eloping. They are killed along with a bunch of teenagers who are passing under the bridge, which is a drawbridge. While he is there, he runs into the woman he was planning on eloping with, saves his grandfather’s old hotel from being torn down to build a casino, briefly reignites the flame with his old love, stops his brother-in-law from profiting from his grandfather’s will and then breaks up with his old flame. Nate is a lawyer in the big city and decides to return back to his roots to become a lawyer in his home town to help the people there. He originally goes there as part of a job for his original firm, but is discouraged from looking into certain things. He also became close to the owner of the hotel he was staying at and helped clear the bridge operator of all wrong doing in the accident.

I thought the author did an excellent job of describing the old hotel, the hotel he stayed in while he was living there, the relationships he had with the people that he meets and how he reopens old relationships. I felt that I was right there along with him and experiencing things as he did. He describes the old hotel so you can picture what it looked like and what happened in it both in the old days and today and helps you imagine what it was like back then.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in hotels back in the old days, romances, and history in general.
-Review the Book

This is a very engrossing tale sharing the angst of a tragedy that spanned two decades. Great character exploration and development.
Reader To Reader Reviews

Mary Ann Grossman, book critic for St. Paul Pioneer Press, places A Bridge Back on her Recommended Reading List.  For the text of her review, see the St. Paul Pioneer Press [Sunday, July 5 2009 at page E6].

“Patrick Garry spends much of this book focused on our characters and their inner selves, which I truly enjoy. And in the end who DOESN’T have pains from their past that they would rather just run away from. That is primarily why this book is so accessible.”

Patrick Garry’s A Bridge Back delves into how the past affects our current decisions and probes the question of whether or not one can ever go back and reclaim past happiness. The characters are believable, as is the portrayal of small-town life. Secrets are carefully revealed as readers find out what happens to Nate and Laura. This book is recommended for fans of contemporary fiction.
Curled Up With A Good Book 

Literary Awards

2017 Royal Dragonfly Book Award Winner

Winner, 2017 John Weaver New Discovery Book Award

Winner, 2011 NIEA Book Award

Winner,  2009 IBPA Next Generation Literary Awards