A Bridge to the Stars by Henning Mankell

By Henning Mankell

This poignant novel explores how a unilateral selection can swap a life.Two issues are challenging for Joel Gustafson to deal with: no longer realizing why, and never having the ability to do something approximately it. Joel’s father used to be a sailor who lived via 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 off sneaking out evening after evening, searching for it. in the course of those nocturnal outings, Joel discovers points of existence 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 maintains to go looking for the puppy, he discovers his personal internal energy and learns approximately grownup disappointments and wishes.

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He'd often sat in the cleft in the rock and wondered about that. He always started by thinking about what was least difficult to face up to. The sea. If his father had been forced to abandon ship, how come that he was washed up in this little town in the north of Sweden where there wasn't even any sea? And how could he find any satisfaction in going into the forest every day to chop down trees when he'd never succeed in felling enough for him to be able to glimpse the open sea beyond? How can you be washed up in a place where there isn't even any sea?

What kind of dirt is it that he can see, but nobody else can? He can hear Samuel muttering and chuntering about spiders' webs and clusters of snakes. But surely there aren't any spiders making webs in the kitchen in the middle of winter? And how could there be a cluster of snakes in the hood over the stove? There aren't any snakes at all in this part of northern Sweden. Joel watches him through the half-open door and realises that his father is scrubbing away something that only he can see. Something that makes him both scared and angry.

He didn't go there so often then. Just occasionally he'd ski down the slope to the river, to make sure that the rock was still there. He'd establish a ski track round the rock, and think that it looked a bit like a fence. Nobody would be able to cross it and take possession of his rock. It was in winter when they used to sit in the kitchen, Joel and his dad, and Joel would listen to all the stories. In a glass case over the stove was a model ship. She was called Celestine, and his father had bought her from a poor Indian hawker in Mombasa.

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