The Bridge

From Pulitzer Prize winner Doug Marlette comes the captivating story of Pick Cantrell, a successful newspaper cartoonist whose career has hit the skids In the grip of a midlife meltdown, Pick returns with his wife and son to a small North Carolina town, where he confronts the ghosts of his past in the form of the family matriarch and his boyhood nemesis, Mama Lucy What fFrom Pulitzer Prize winner Doug Marlette comes the captivating story of Pick Cantrell, a successful newspaper cartoonist whose career has hit the skids In the grip of a midlife meltdown, Pick returns with his wife and son to a small North Carolina town, where he confronts the ghosts of his past in the form of the family matriarch and his boyhood nemesis, Mama Lucy What follows is an extraordinary story within a story, as Pick uncovers startling truths about himself and about the role his grandmother played in the tragic General Textile Strike Of 1934A novel about family, love, and forgiveness, The Bridge explores how much we ever really know about others, and most important, about ourselves.
The Bridge From Pulitzer Prize winner Doug Marlette comes the captivating story of Pick Cantrell a successful newspaper cartoonist whose career has hit the skids In the grip of a midlife meltdown Pick returns

  • Title: The Bridge
  • Author: Doug Marlette
  • ISBN: 9780060505219
  • Page: 369
  • Format: Paperback
  • 1 thought on “The Bridge”

    1. I have read 150 pages, and every time I open the book I am annoyed and impatient, because I keep waiting for it to get better. It takes place in Hillsboro, (the fictional Eno in the story) and I am familiar with the town, the people, the language and speech patterns, because I grew up in Durham, only 20 miles from there. I know about the textile mills, and the working conditions, so it follows that this would interest me. But the main character of Pick Cantrell is really irritating me, Mama Lucy [...]

    2. This was a Christmas gift from a friend, it's a first novel and has a lot of the problems of a first novel, but it still was engaging and a great first-novel effort. Marlette was an award-winning political cartoonist as a primary career, and only came to novel-writing later in life. This one is set in a fictional Carolina town that is basically Hillsborough, and deals with the textile strikes and strife that came with the attempts at unionization of the Carolina mills in the 30s. It's also very [...]

    3. Most people will remember Doug Marlette for his cartoon strip, "Kudzu." His first novel, "The Bridge," draws from his family's experience. What a treat! The book deals with a present day cartoonist, down on his luck, moving back to Piedmont area of North Carolina (Eno in the book is Hillsborough) and learning who his irascible grandmother REALLY was. Mama Lucy was active in the mill strikes and labor unrest in the 1930s in NC. An author's note at the end tells us Marlette's real grandmother was [...]

    4. The Bridge, Doug Marlette (3.5)They often say ‘write what you know’. Doug Marlette certainly did that. He is a Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist who found out his family was deeply involved in the volatile textile union disputes of the 1930’s - who writes about a Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist who found out his family was deeply involved in the volatile textile union disputes of the 1930’s. That being said, this book is a moving story about family disputes and misunderstandings set am [...]

    5. There is not much that I can say here that hasn't already been said by previous reviewers. The Bridge by Doug Marlette definitely belongs on the same bookshelf as Look Homeward, Angel; Cold Mountain and Saints at the River. This gripping story of a fallen editorial cartoonist from NYC returning home to North Carolina and his matriarchal family of strong women and tragic men drew me in page by page. The epiphany at the bridge told me that yes you can go home again.What a light into our hearts and [...]

    6. Read Cynthia's review that follows. Like Cynthia I now live in the area of NC that was the setting for the book. With Halloween just a couple of weeks away I'll have to make a run to Chicken Bridge to see the lit jack o lantern.

    7. What the WHAT was up with that scene with the escaped convict? LOVED the rest of the book but that seemed like a snipped from some other book. So needless.

    8. story of Pick Cantrell, a successful newspaper cartoonist whose career has hit the skids. In the grip of a midlife meltdown, Pick returns with his wife and son to a small North Carolina town, where he confronts the ghosts of his past in the form of the family matriarch and his boyhood nemesis, Mama Lucy. What follows is an extraordinary story within a story, as Pick uncovers startling truths about himself and about the role his grandmother played in the tragic General Textile Strike Of 1934I was [...]

    9. Great read! This historical fiction book by deceased author and former political cartoonist, Doug Marlette, was based on fictional Eno disguised as Hillsborough. Marlette resided in Hillsborough when he wrote and published this book. The book is about a political cartoonist that moves back to NC and settles in the town where his grandmother grew up. The main character, Pick, has a tumultuous relationship with his grandmother. The relationship heals as he learns of his grandmother’s part part i [...]

    10. Really loved the grandma, Mama Lucy, with her feisty attitude toward her family, her previous life during the strike. Pick was a interesting type of person holding attitudes from his past, his not understanding why his mother was taken from his home, blaming Mama Lucy for his childhood version of life. Enjoyed his humor as a cartoonist, the hill-billy behavior of his relatives was almost too cliche. Amazing how his new home became an aspect of the past. Enjoyed the connection to real life events [...]

    11. Absolutely an amazing historical and compassionate glimpse into our grandparents' generation of fabric factory work, the hard fight for the Unions, and family secretsThoroughly enjoyed your novel based on actual events Mr. Marlette!

    12. Quite interesting the background about the real events of the mill protests and life in South Carolina at this time. Interesting lead-in and context for his investigations. Some good characters - it was a little bit long, but overall I thought well done and I enjoyed it.

    13. Political cartoonist Pick Cantrell has a gift for pissing people off. After publishing a cartoon making fun of the Pope, he decks his publisher at a New York daily, gets fired from his job, and ends up in the Piedmont of North Carolina where he restores a house while his wife resumes her career. In it all, she about leaves him for a more successful man (who doesn't slug his boss) while he begins to discover the family secrets that Southerners are so good at hiding (I can say this since I’ [...]

    14. One of my all-time favorites. I'm just so sad that Doug Marlette died in that car accident a year ago. No more of his wonderful writing to look forward to. His other novel, The Magic Time is also excellent.The main character has a mouth and temper that gets him into trouble, straight away he's fired from his New York job for losing it with his editor. He reluctantly agrees with his wife, Cameron, and moves back to NC, where he grew up, to start fresh. Back in NC he faces the family, mainly Mama [...]

    15. Rereading from about 10 years ago, this is set outside Durham, in the Eno River area. Not an A-1 book in terms of writing, but it is the history I read it for - the efforts to unionize the mills in North Carolina. The book references true events like the Burlington strikes, a massacre in Eno, and a plot to dynamite the mill. The narrator ("Pick") is, like Doug Marlette was, a cartoonist who comes back to his roots, and unknowingly purchases the house of the former mill owner. Through stories tol [...]

    16. This is the second time around. I don't remember when i first read it, but the story continued to haunt me even though i forgot the title and author.Pick Cantrell is a pulitzer prize winning political cartoonist who loses his job when he refuses to apologize for a contraversial cartoon and in a fit of fury beats up on his boss. As a result he and his wife Cameron and their child Wiley return to the North Carolina of his youth. The plan is for Pick to rehab an old house while Cameron goes to work [...]

    17. I'm pretty sure I loved this book. If you told me I would enjoy a story revolving around a flashback of a post-Depression mill strike in NC, I would've politely nodded and said hmm, maybe I'll check it out (when nothing else is in the library). My favorite genre is historical fiction, with a little romance and self-reflection thrown in, and this book fits the bill. I relate to the main character(s), Pick and Mama Lucy, and the strife between generations, especially resulting from Southern pride. [...]

    18. Pick Cantrell is a young man whose career as a political cartoonist is up in flames when his wife finds a job in North Carolina. They move to North Carolina along with their young son to a town that is close to the town that he grew up in. During his time there he gets to know his grandmother Lucy better whom he had blamed for his mother's death in causing her to be locked up in a mental institution. During his time there he finds out there is more to his grandmother than he knew about as a litt [...]

    19. Pick Cantrell is a Pulitzer prize winning political cartoonist, whose life begins to spiral downward after he is fired from his job in NYC. With his wife and son he returns to his childhood home in a small North Carolina town, where he must confront his grandmother and childhood nemesis, Mama Lucy. His perspective begins to shift, however, when his search into the town’s historical records uncovers Mama Lucy’s involvement in the tragic textile strike of 1934. As past and present converge he [...]

    20. I took a chance on this book. It turned out much better than I had anticipated, just shy of extremely good. The characters are well developed with the one exception of the wife. I think Marlette really had trouble writing about her. Maybe she was too close to home.This is a story of gradual reunion, forgiveness, and clarification of things past. There is a good story that is well layered. The story constantly flips 60 years into the past, such that there are two story lines, though the story lin [...]

    21. This was the book that, if I remember correctly, Stephanie had brought to YaYa's last year because she had the Author, Doug Marlette sign the book for us! Pretty Neat!Good read about a political cartoonist who gets fired for his offensive work and moves back to his hometown in North Carolina. He eventually reconciles with his old granny, who he despised all these years, and becomes enticed with the story of her upbringing! By the end of the book I had a southern accent carrying with meha!

    22. I loved this book. Marlette has a southern style similar to Pat Conroy, whose fiction I adore! When I looked up Doug Marlette to see what else he had written, I found out that indeed he and Conroy were friends. Unfortunately, after writing one other novel, Marlette was tragically killed in an automobile accident. If you like books like South of Broad or Beach Music, you will thoroughly enjoy this book! A novel of current times with flash backs to early unionizing efforts in the South - it was an [...]

    23. The two years Doug Marlette drew cartoons for the FSU Flambeau newspaper while I was a student there were enough to make me a lifelong fan of his political wit. Now, I'm a fan of his fiction. I was a little worried at the start of this book that he would make this too autobiographical, but by the end, the characters felt like people I had grown up with as a kid in the South. The smooth integration of history and characterization made a wonderfully readable story. I only wish he were still alive [...]

    24. This summer I read The Bridge (about the textile mill strikes in the early Depression years in N. C.) and Sea Glass, also about textile mills in New England. It was fascinating to compare the experiences in the two quite different locales, but see the struggle that people who had been at the bottom of the heap for generations were willing to undertake for better working conditions. Sea Glass in particular was frightfully parallel to current conditions in 2008 in the U.S. and other parts of the w [...]

    25. Most of the action occurred less than a mile from my parents' house. I recall the tempest among the literary types of Hillsborough (there are a surprising number of nationally recognized authors in town) but just go around to reading it. I need to learn more about the Textile Strike of 1934. That vicious suppression must play a large role in Southern politics -- and I have heard nary a word. This is despite moving to the South to be near fabric producers for the balloon factory and spending more [...]

    26. Half way through. Good characters, except wife seems to change in regard to his family. Looking forward to seeing the ends drawn together.I liked this book now I finished. Except -- end seems contrived --"Oh no time to wrap this story up!" I know the area & enjoyed recognizing landmarks etc. Reading about the textile strikes was very interesting. I have gotten his other novel -- his own story & untimely death are a story in itself.

    27. I was familiar with the name Doug Marlette because we had lived in Charlotte NC where he is an editorial cartoonist for The Charlotte Observer. This is his first novel, and I'm happy to say that it's a great story. If you've been raised in the South, you need to read this book. Mama Lucy is the main character, and this mighty woman was a warrior in her time. She participated in the textile mills strikes and revolts in the '30's. She was a force to reckon with!

    28. A pretty good book - took me a while to get into it but I really enjoyed the Depression-era historical side-trips the main character Pick made as he got to know his entire family history, but especially as he got closer to his grandmother, Mama Lucy. My main criticism of this book is that I thought the author tried too hard to wrap up all the loose ends during the last chapter, making the ending just a little too pat for my taste. Still, for a first book I think it's a winner :)

    29. Author was interviewed on PBS. He spoke of his "mean" grandmother Mama Lucy who he hated throughout his life. He discovers that she was bayoneted by Nat'l Guardsmen during a strike at the textile mills. It was the biggest strike at the time - 1934 and he decides to write the story. Interesting southern characters set in the south. Through marital stress and restoring an old house, the main character gets to know, understand and love "Mama Lucy".

    30. This book is a true-to-its-word description of the Southern mill lifestyle of the late 1800's to near present, the effects on the people, their families and their environment, as well as complicated family connections. It was hard to put down and I have known women of "the greatest generation" like his cantankerous Grandmother Lucy. I loved the story so much, I had to check out its locations on my last trip to Durham and found towns identical to the ones he painted in words.

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