(Disclosure: I was provided with a free copy of this title, in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.)
The Bridge Of Little Jeremy by Indrajit Garai is the story of a young Parisian boy named Jeremy, and his trusted canine companion, Leon. The two friends are inseparable, as they venture out and explore their island neighborhood with its famous bridges spanning the river Seine. They take pleasure in the sights and sounds of the arrondissement; the beautiful gardens and menagerie, as well as, the bells of Notre Dame ringing nearby. When they aren’t out and about, Jeremy and Leon spend most of their time at home, where Leon stands guard over his convalescing friend, while Jeremy (recovering from recent heart surgery) attends to his greatest passion. Art. In spite of his young age, Jeremy is a talented and accomplished artist. And through the assistance of a mysterious friend, Jeremy has managed to sell several pieces of his artwork. But there are troubles at home. Jeremy’s mother is often away at work, struggling to provide for their small family. It is eventually revealed that a significant tax debt is weighing heavily on her. When Jeremy learns that his mother may incur prison time if the debt goes unpaid, he begins to shoulder the burden as well.
One day, as luck would have it, Jeremy happens upon a possible solution to the family’s financial woes. While snooping around in his apartment building’s underground cellar, Jeremy discovers an antique painting by a well-known local artist. A lost treasure hidden in the sewers. And if Jeremy’s hunch is correct, this particular treasure not only has the potential to relieve his mother of her tax debt. It may also hold the key to unlocking an incredible family mystery. Jeremy desperately wants to help his mother. And although his efforts are far too much for any child (especially an ailing one) to take on, Jeremy derives strength from his determination and resolve.
The Bridge Of Little Jeremy is not without its flaws. There are noticeable hiccups in continuity. There are also times when the novel loses its structure. Perhaps another round of editing would have resolved this issue. For example, in scenes where Jeremy is problem-solving, or trying to make decisions, his internal monologues are often meandering and unfocused. As a reader, I had difficulty following these moments in the story.
Criticism aside, I did enjoy this novel. Garai excels in his depiction of the relationship between Jeremy and Leon. I found their deep understanding of each other touching (and oftentimes amusing.) It’s their connection that holds the story together, even when structural defects threaten it. Ultimately, I have to be invested in the story to follow it to its end. And I most certainly was invested.
A story of love, loyalty, and resilience that defies physical setbacks, for your consideration, The Bridge Of Little Jeremy, by Indrajit Garai.
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