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Sky Bridge: A Novel

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Sky Bridge: A Novel.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Laura Pritchett(Author)

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A supermarket clerk in a small dusty town, 22-year-old Libby is full of dreams but lacks the means to pursue them. When her younger sister Tess becomes pregnant, Libby convinces her not to have an abortion by promising to raise the child herself. But then Tess takes off after the baby is born and Libby finds that her new role puts her dreams that much further away. Her already haphazard life becomes ever more chaotic. The baby's father, a Christian rodeo rider, suddenly demands custody. Libby loses her job, her boyfriend abandons her, and her own mother harps on how stupid she was to make that promise to Tess. More than a story of a single mother overcoming obstacles, Sky Bridge is a painfully honest, complex novel that leaves readers with a fresh understanding of what it means to inhabit a world in which dreams die, and are sometimes reborn.

"How do we people go around in regular life, anyway, when the truth is that we're wondering about love, and death, and things that are on the verge of smashing us to pieces?" Libby, the 22-year-old narrator of Pritchett's compassionate, finely observed first novel, finds herself asking the big questions sooner than she might have expected when her beloved younger sister, Tess, quits their one-horse Colorado town, leaving Libby to care for her newborn daughter. Tess had wanted an abortion, but Libby, a grocery store clerk, said she'd care for the baby; little did she expect that Tess would vanish the minute she got discharged from the hospital. Thoughtful, serious Libby muddles her way through mothering darling, colicky Amber, getting no-nonsense advice from her prickly ranch-hand mother, warm counsel from ranch owner Baxter and fumbling, halfhearted attempts at support from the boyfriend she isn't sure she really loves. The novel's graceful, leisurely pace and genial characters overlay darker, tenser narrative threads, which include Tess's involvement in smuggling drugs and illegal immigrants. Pritchett, who proved herself an astute observer of rural Colorado's hardy inhabitants in her award-winning story collection, Hell's Bottom, Colorado, offers an amiable, moving story of love, duty and family. (May) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. Adult/High School–This captivating first novel is the story of Libby, a 22-year-old checkout clerk who has been a mother figure to her younger sister. Now pregnant, 18-year-old Tess wants to have an abortion, but Libby convinces her to have the baby, saying that she herself will raise the infant. Within days of delivering, Tess indeed takes off to pursue her own dreams outside their small Colorado town, and Libby finds herself raising Amber while trying to deal with an alcoholic, abusive mother and make sense of her own life. Libby is a protagonist who is not afraid to confront her fears and loneliness; this very openness gives her a depth and strength that others draw on. At the same time that she is trying to make a life for herself and Amber, the baby's father reenters the picture, promising a custody battle, and Libby discovers that Tess has gotten involved in smuggling drugs and illegal immigrants. The primary and secondary plots captivate readers and ensure an ending that is anything but trite. Reminiscent of Billie Letts's Where the Heart Is (Warner, 1995), this book offers a gritty but redeeming picture of a family that never quite lets go of hope, and characters who are not soon forgotten.–Kim Dare, Fairfax County Public Library System, VA Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Book details

  • PDF | 232 pages
  • Laura Pritchett(Author)
  • Milkweed Editions; First Trade Paper Edition edition (April 5, 2007)
  • English
  • 4
  • Literature & Fiction

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Review Text

  • By Malcolm McCollum on January 27, 2018

    Laura Pritchett’s first novel, Sky Bridge, is set in “Nowhere, Colorado,” on the ranchland east of the plains town of Lamar. In this tiny place assaulted by big forces — climate change, the global economy, federal policies — narrator Libby finds prospects slim: “… all my old schoolmates are either doing drugs or working minimum wage or in jail....” But the central characters of the story — Libby, her younger sister Tess, their mother Kay, and Baxter, the rancher who provides Kay both a job and a ramshackle house — have neither time nor inclination to analyze the forces that are “crashing up their lives.” They have only hope, compassion (with the exception of Tess), and a stubborn determination to cope with what must be coped with, including the results of their own bad decisions or inattention. One of these results is baby Amber, brought into being by Tess’s casual one-nighter with Simon, proud member of the Cowboy Christian Coalition, and kept from abortion by Libby’s promise to raise her. Putting cans of baby formula away in the cupboard, reluctant new grandmother Kay observes, “ ‘ I don’t know why they take the thing that’s most important to an infant and kill us with the price.’ ‘Who?’ Libby inquires. ‘Them,’ she says, her hands flying around to the outside world.” Pritchett captures the rhythms and emphases of everyday speech with perfect pitch. And for the most part, her characters live up to their description by Libby’s employer, Frank, who says “... people look out for each other.” Abandoned to their own devices by a government owned and operated by multi-national corporations, these people retain a dignity that makes them impossible to dismiss. By novel’s end, the reader may recall Faulkner’s words in his Nobel Prize acceptance speech: “I believe that man will not only endure: he will prevail....because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance.” Sky Bridge bring these abstract virtues to vivid, concrete life.

  • By Laura on April 16, 2007

    I first read this beautiful book when it came out a couple years ago, and the vivid characters and landscape have stayed with me. Pritchett has a gift for creating characters you care about deeply-- intimate portraits of people who are somehow tough and tender at once, painted with raw, honest strokes. I love the narrator's, Libby's, voice, which is poetic and real and always striving to get under the surface to express how things really feel. A memorable read by a talented writer.

  • By Margie on May 15, 2015

    This is a beautiful yet gritty book.A 'life is tough' story with a great big loveable heart at its centre.The writing is clear and flows beautifully with sentences that can take your breath away.

  • By jjob on June 30, 2015

    Laura Pritchett can communicate place and feelings as well as any writer I've read. Her protagonist chooses to be stuck in small town America with the burdens of responsibility and the limits of relationships. The issues she addresses parallel many of the issues our country addresses and the roll of an individual in a complex world. Love, sex, relationships (family and other), citizenship and the lack of all of these all have consequences and Pritchett's novel of a maturing young lady rings true and offers many insights. Current events and place are characters as important as those around the protagonist.

  • By Marina on June 18, 2017

    Confronted by the deeply divided America and the rural-urban divide, I found Sky Bridge to offer revealing insights as to why. This paragraph shone for me: (from the character Libby about the character Clark):"This isn't where I should be. Maybe this is true for both of us. I get the feeling that him next to his beat-up truck, and me next to my beat-up house--this isn't where we are supposed to be. And maybe that makes us wonder, more than ever, what's going on behind that junked up space that separates us, the space that keeps one human from understanding another."

  • By mark jabbour on September 22, 2006

    This is a book about LOVE: what it is - and what it isn't. It's about sex: how it can make you laugh - or cry; can fill you up with joy - or pain. And then the consequences of all of that: babies, children, human beings, citizenship ....Sky Bridge is also about the consequences of abuse and oppression: just how hard living is for some people, in this case persons on the plains of Eastern Colorado in modern times, be you legal or illegal, American or Mexican. Sky Bridge is about all those things told through the ruminations and conversations of a twenty-something female, Libby, who believes she is "stupid and ugly." Libby thinks this is so because her mother, Kay, has drilled that into her. Quite obviously, though, she isn't. Libby is remarkably aware, sentient, and intelligent. She is also loved by many: her boyfriend (who she rejects); her boss (who she betrays); her activist neighbor; her co-worker; her mother's boss, and her humanitarian friend. Seemingly, this doesn't make sense, but that is author Laura Pritchett's brilliance - she portrays the human condition as it is: irrational and confused. As loved and admired as Libby is she feels isolated and alone, because those closest to her: mother, sister, best friend, all abandon her in different ways. Pritchett writes beautifully, some scenes are simply gripping. And now, with this "illegal immigration" issue being put forth by politicians - this book is especially timely and a must read!

  • By MaryCO on February 1, 2015

    Excellent book, well written and very touching in a western stoic kind of way. I love her style; simple, thoughtful and sneaks back up on you to contemplate some more. She knows her subject and that is probably what brings about the haunting effect.


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