In The Other Side of The Bridge by Katharine Swartz, a surprise inheritance from her Grandmother Sophia comes at just the right time for Ava. With a floundering marriage, grief and heart ache weighing heavily on her shoulders, Ava leaves England for Greece and the small home there her Grandmother has left her in rural Greece. When Ava arrives in Greece, she doesn't know how long she'll stay, she just knows she needs the space and time. Is her marriage over? Does she want it to be?
Ava cleans up and sets up house in the small run down home. As she is welcomed by the people in the village, one who knew her Grandmother, Ava realizes she didn't know her Grandmother very well at all - only that she left Greece after WWII. When she tries to find out more, no one wants to talk. The heavier the silence, the more intrigued Ava is, and the more she feels she needs to know who her Grandmother really was. Will Ava get answers or will the past stay in the past?
I love how Katharine has written The Other Side of The Bridge, spanning two distinct era's in time - present day with Ava and during the war with Sophia. Katharine weaves the stories together so well the flow is seamless. I really loved both story lines, but in particular Sophia's Greece and all the history it brings with it. Katharine manages to take you to Sophia's time, feel what she's feeling, and see what she sees. Sophia kept me glued to the pages, getting to know her and really wanting to see how things worked out for her. As Ava reached into the past along with us, it gave her something else to focus on other than her own sorrows. Both Ava and Sophia are strong women in their time, and Katharine keeps both of them realistic with believable story lines. I saw a lot of growth in Ava as she tried to come to terms with what has been happening in her life. Sometimes distance really does help one gain perspective, and for Ava this seemed to help.
I also really like the setting of The Other Side of The Bridge, both past and present as Katharine writes them. She brings a different side of Greece to life so easily.
The Other Side of The Bridge is an easy story to become immersed in. A journey to find herself also becomes one to find the past and to help not only Ava heal, but others. Katharine writes an emotional story of personal growth in The Other Side of the Bridge, and I'd recommend this to all women's fiction readers.