A Bridge to the Stars by Henning Mankell

By Henning Mankell

This poignant novel explores how a unilateral choice can swap a life.Two issues are tough for Joel Gustafson to deal with: no longer figuring out why, and never with the ability to do whatever approximately it. Joel’s father was a sailor who lived by means of the ocean. Joel’s mom as soon as lived with them. Joel’s father deserted the ocean. Joel’s mom deserted Joel and his father. whereas looking his window one evening, Joel sees a lonely puppy in the street. Joel spots the animal back and starts sneaking out evening after evening, looking for it. in the course of those nocturnal outings, Joel discovers facets of lifestyles he hasn't ever imagined. after which one evening he discovers that his father’s mattress, too, is empty.As Joel investigates his father’s mysterious absences and keeps to look for the puppy, he discovers his personal internal energy and learns approximately grownup disappointments and desires.

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Example text

Joel feels a strong arm pulling him up out of the snowdrift. Simon Windstorm is mad, he thinks. He's going to kill me. 'You seem to be OK,' says Windstorm. 'Go back home to bed now! I won't insist on knowing what you're doing out here at this time. That's none of my business. Me, I drive around at night in my lorry because I can't get to sleep. ' The Old Bricklayer mutters something to himself then goes back to his lorry and drives away. Joel wheels the bike back to the shop as quickly as he can.

THESEFOTHEDOTHFAS. That's the code for a secret society of course, he thinks. A secret society whose name nobody will be able to guess. He starts writing on the first page. 'The search for the dog that headed for a star began on March 8, 1956. The weather was fine. ' He reads what he has written and has the feeling that the adventure is now under way. It's already there inside him. When you have an adventure inside you the only thing that matters is what happens next. Just as on a ship like the Celestine.

What he writes is almost word-for-word something he'd read in a book his dad keeps in his little bookcase, and often thumbs through. That's the kind of thing you put in a secret logbook, Joel thinks. Only somebody with inside information can know that it's really about him being thrown out of the classroom. It's not good, being sent out like that. Better than wearing glasses or stuttering, but not good whichever way you look at it. Joel can put up with his classmates grinning at him. So long as you don't start blushing or crying when you're sent out of the room, you are an important person.

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