Link to Indrajit Garai’s The Bridge of Little Jeremy – Kindle Edition
Relaxed. Anxious. Surprised! Impressed. That’s how I would describe reading through this fictional tale of a young boy’s adventure in Paris with a huge unforeseen twist at the end!! ((I’ve read thousands of books so I can attest it was truly unexpected!))
Quick summary: Jeremy is a young pre-teen boy with heart problems that cost his widowed mother most of their income to maintain his health with surgeries and doctor appointments. The story starts by setting the scene of the small family struggling to make ends meet while the mother (of course) does not want her boy to be concerned by the debt they owe. Jeremy soon learns she could go to jail for not being able to pay estate taxes and tries to help save the day with his side kick dog, Leon.
One of the things that stood out immediately – the voice of Jeremy. This author captured the voice of a young pre-teen boy amazingly well to tell a more mature story through young narration and keep adult readers engaged. It was a relaxed writing style with beautiful imagery for the town and clear thoughts from the narrator. Emotions carry well through Jeremy’s thoughts and dialogue – showing the natural curiosity of a child trying to protect his mother in the city and understand why she is stressed/in trouble.
He questions everything from how to sell art on the street, perverts watching women, family secrets affecting estate taxes… and the author perfectly describes Jeremy’s thought process to piece together solving problems as a young mind does. Even if the naive voice includes the wrong conclusions or drastic solutions! The boy is overprotective of his mother trying to be “the man of the house” in his father’s place and the sincere concern shows through during his adventures trying to understand the adult world.
The author significantly personified one of Jeremy’s paintings. Not to spoil the plot- but Jeremy is quite a great artist for his age and has one painting that he starts focusing on for a span of weeks in the story. He calls the painting “she” to describe how it reacts or speaks to him as he paints and reviews his work.
This plays into how a young imaginative pre-teen mind may personify inanimate objects they cherish. But I thought it was creative as well to describe an artist’s process of connecting with their work and signifying how they truly bring it to life moment by moment.
Artists, writers, musicians, actors, etc. all have days where they feel more connected with their work – they are in tune and naturally improving their project with a flow and focused mind. Then there are the bad days where you return to it and either hit a roadblock or overly critique it to feel disconnected – and Jeremy points out pieces he feels he doesn’t recognize or details he didn’t notice and criticizes himself strongly. I truly loved these descriptions and how the author described relating to creative works.
Last point I’ll touch on is Leon, the dog, was also a main character. To start – I love that name for such a stoic and responsible dog. The story really personifies the dog with Jeremy holding full conversations with the dog and imagining Leon’s responses. I enjoyed this aspect because most people have tried to converse with their pet and read emotions/responses from how the animal responds to the words.
These conversations play a part in Jeremy’s character development and demonstrate how strong humans connect to animals for love and healing. (It was described Leon was adopted as a protector for the young boy wandering the city but he could easily be as an emotional support animal as well.)