Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free of charge for review purposes only. Receipt of a book does not guarantee a review or endorsement.

Content warnings: cancer, domestic abuse

BridgeBridge always had a complicated relationship with her brilliant neuroscience mother, but is floored by the loss of her all the same. Her therapist has convinced her that her childhood trips to other worlds weren’t real and her mother was mentally unstable. Left to sift through belongings and junk, Bridge wishes she’d had a chance to say a real goodbye instead of being pushed away by someone who didn’t even recognise her any more. Until her best friend Dom discovers something hidden deep in the freezer, a Dreamworm.

I loved Bridge so much! In some ways this reminded me of The Shining Girls more than Lauren Beukes’ other books have. Lots of boxes ticked for me: multiverse hopping, a weird mystery to solve, neuroscience, parasitology, serial killers and the bestest best friend ever.

I wanted the chance to be a mother, but I wanted other things too, and I didn’t realize that so many doors would close. Or that Dave would hold them shut.

The Dreamworm in the freezer is the thing Bridge’s mother used to take them to the different worlds when she was little. Dom is convinced it’s a hallucinogen, Bridge isn’t so sure any more. Her mother’s journals are filled with wild stories, becoming more desperate as her cancer progresses. Her unanswered correspondence full of warnings to stop.

Dom worries that Bridge is following in her mother’s footsteps. Maybe eating a mouldy old cocoon hidden in ratatouille isn’t good for you. Has grief taken over? Other worlds might be ones with her mother in after all. Dom’s a fantastic character. They seem a sceptic at first but they have Bridge’s best interests at heart and through this the story explores found family versus biological family.

Dom has fought so hard for this life; why would they be interested in any other?

Things starts off a little confusing but multiverse hopping is disorientating and things start slotting together nicely as you follow the clues laid down in Joanne’s journals. There’s also a “Tomesians” help group going on separate to Bridge and Dom’s experimentation. This is based Morgellons, a psychological condition where people believe threads are coming out of their skin, and I loved how it all linked up in the end.

Bridge and Dom don’t live in our world, but it’s close. This is shown through small differences in naming and slight changes in history, but nothing too severe. The other Bridges aren’t all the same though, different decisions sending them on wildly different paths.

Death is pretty fucking real, it turns out. A whole set of realities, all uniquely awful. And now the infuriating bureaucracy that comes after. Sadmin, Dom calls it.

I noticed some blurbs say this was for fans of Everything, Everywhere, All at Once and I so hope that film has triggered a wave of multiverse novels. And don’t worry, that film exists in Bridge’s world because Dom is disappointed about the lack of worlds with googly eyed rocks in.

Bridge is published by Michael Joseph and will be available in hardback, ebook and audiobook editions from 17th August 2023. Thanks go to the publisher for providing a copy fore review via NetGalley.

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