cover image Bridges to Cross

Bridges to Cross

Paul B. Janeczko. MacMillan Publishing Company, $11.95 (162pp) ISBN 978-0-02-747940-9

Set in the early '60s, this novel of stumbling into selfhood will be easy for readers to identify with. Freshman James Marchuk must reconcile hypocrisy with everything he's been told about honesty and following rules. What should he make of his Catholic high school, where teachersChristian Brothersstrident slap the boys and visit pornography stores? At home, he wants to break away from being ""Helen's boy,'' but his perfectionist mother won't listen, so he begins to lie. Through believable dialogue and a logical, fast-paced buildup of incidents, James comes to view the intrigues of the adult world in more complex ways. In a satisfying conclusion, James dares to cross the shaky town bridge of the title, gets hurt, and comes out able to stop spiting his mother. He confronts her, calls a halt to the web of deceit, and begins to pick and choose among rules to find his own ethical direction. (10-14)