Bridge Daughter by Jim Nelson
Published June 2016 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
My copy: Review copy
*** A big thank you to the author for sending me a review copy of this novel ***
Young Hanna thinks her thirteenth birthday will be no different than the one before—until her mother explains the facts of life. Hanna is a “bridge daughter,” born pregnant with her parents’ child. In a few months she will give birth and die, leaving her parents with their true daughter. A mature bookworm who dreams of college and career, Hanna is determined to overcome her biological fate. Navigating through a world eerily like our own, she confronts unyielding attitudes and instinctive fears as old as humankind itself. Then Hanna learns of an illegal procedure that will allow her to live to adulthood…at the cost of the child’s life.
I was quite intrigued by the synopsis of this book, and although it didn’t sound like my usual sort of read, I was looking forward to trying something a bit different.
The concept – that certain girls are born pregnant with their parents’ ‘real’ child – is an odd one and I did wonder how the author would tackle this. But actually it’s done really well – the idea is dealt with in a simple way, without too much scientific explanation or description – the situation was just presented as how things are, so it is easier for the reader to accept it.
Hanna is a great character. She is so conflicted it is hard not to feel sorry for her and the situation she has found herself in. And adding another interesting dimension to the novel was the introduction of several other ‘bridge’ families, who dealt with the realities of their situation in contrasting ways. I think for young adult readers this is a really good way of giving them different perspectives and allow them to form an opinion on what is happening.
This was an interesting, easy read – I got through it in just a day – and I think it is definitely suitable for the target young adult audience and will really get them thinking. The ending didn’t go how I was expecting at all, but I say this as a positive as I think it worked really well in the context of the book.
My rating: 7 out of 10