The Bridge of Little Jeremy by Indrajit Garai
Published March 2019
Genre(s): YA, Fiction, Contemporary
“Life does look symmetric at its extremes.”
Summary (from Goodreads)
Jeremy’s mother is about to go to prison for their debt to the State. He is trying everything within his means to save her, but his options are running out fast.
Then Jeremy discovers a treasure under Paris.
This discovery may save his mother, but it doesn’t come for free. And he has to ride over several obstacles for his plan to work.
Meanwhile, something else is limiting his time…
“Each of these roses is as beautiful as the one on that mound of compost, but, cramped together here, none of them stands out as distinct. And they don’t have the contrast of that ugly mass of compost to nourish their beauty.”
*I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review*
When a friend of the author came to me about this book, I was hesitant at first. There were many things going on at the time, and unknowingly, these events were the start of a reading slump combined with a lack of time to read. In a way, it also made me more hesitant to read this story. What if I didn’t enjoy it? What if it prolonged my reading slump?
These questions became void the moment I started reading.
The Bridge of Little Jeremy takes place in Paris and follows a twelve year old boy, Jeremy, who has recently undergone heart surgery and needs to undergo another surgery soon. He lives with his mother and Leon, his dog, though they are struggling financially. Jeremy spends most of his time either wandering the streets of Paris, or working on his paintings. He is very talented and often sells his paintings in order to save money with the intention to help his mother out. When he stumbles across a hidden item, he takes it upon himself to take on the project and find out its secrets.
The story starts out simple enough. It’s told through Jeremy’s perspective, and we’re immediately shown just how much this family is struggling financially. However, neither Jeremy or his mother ever stops doing their best to stay optimistic and push their way through.
We very quickly realize that there is so much more to the story.
Jeremy, his mom, and Leon stick together and take care of each other. The family dynamics in this are strong and real and heartbreaking. It shows a mother who can’t always be there for her child, a child who would do anything to help his mom, and a dog that will do anything to protect his people.
We’re shown a boy who is very mature for his age and does his best with the talents he’s been given. He stays strong for those around him, and he does what he believes in his heart to be right, even if others don’t necessarily agree.
To top it all off, we get such beautiful descriptions of Paris that could convince me I’ve been living there my entire life, despite never stepping foot on its grounds.
The themes in this story are in abundance: The necessity of ugliness, dealing with death, the bond of a mother and her son, the bond between a boy and his dog, the importance of love, and little lessons of nature. These are just some of themes present, and each is touched on in its on special way.
Isn’t that strange? We miss someone who dies, but we don’t want that person back in life again. Death puts a strange barrier between the dead and the living.
Sometimes I would forget that Jeremy was only twelve/thirteen, as no child should have to experience the things he does, and his voice was very mature. There were also moments that the description got too much and the pace felt very slow, but being able to get to the end of the story was worth it.