Among the Missing/Across the Bridge
A pregnant woman, believed killed in a bridge accident in the Scottish Highlands, seizes her chance to disappear from her uncaring husband. Determined to safeguard her baby’s future and reinvent herself, she befriends illegal immigrant Silva whose husband Stefan and daughter Anna, now missing, she alone knows have died in her place. As the bridge is rebuilt, the two women build a precarious existence in a makeshift home by the river. While Silva waits for Stefan and Anna to return and the pregnant woman awaits the birth of her child, they are helped by the boatman Ron, whose devotion to them masks his guilt for a past disaster for which he must atone.
Each of them having crossed some bridge in retreat from the world, each seeking an elusive peace of mind as they struggle with displacement and grief, together the three exiles conjure an unstable mix of trust and distrust, compounded by love and jealousy both parental and sexual. When Stefan’s and Anna’s bodies are recovered from the river, the tension in their uneasy triangle mounts inexorably and unbearably. With the birth of the new baby only days, and finally hours away, it finally breaks.
‘… Joss’ writing is so shapely and her plotting so meticulously developed that you sense the presence of such literary luminaries as William Trevor and Alice Munro … Influences aside, the world she creates is her own, a fully sufficient artistic landscape … Joss’ great talent is that the writing soars … further proof that Morag Joss should be included in any discussion of our best writers – in any genre.’
‘Magnificent … Joss is a writer who possesses the austere worldview of the ancient Greeks and the brain of a Bletchley Park code breaker. Her narrative inventiveness has always been a marvel but never more so than in this novel.’
‘Joss’ beautiful, evocative novel is filled with tension and suspense … This is a spectacular psychological thriller.’
USA Romantic Times
‘What Alice Sebold did for grief [in The Lovely Bones], Morag Joss has done for reconcilement.’
‘… evidence not of a rising talent, but of one already fully formed.’
Thomas H. Cook
‘A haunting, harrowing punch to the heart … flat-out brilliant … it’s a psychological dazzler. Truly, one of my favorite books of this year – or any year.’
Caroline Leavitt (New York Times bestselling author)