It’s April of 1976, eighteen months since Samantha lost her daughter and young husband. Immobilized by grief and afraid to drive, she’s barricaded herself in a dilapidated farmhouse in Western New York. Her wealthy parents want her back in Cleveland, but she refuses to go anywhere or to see anyone except her mother-in-law, an outspoken chain smoker who communicates with the dead through mediums at Lily Dale, a nearby spiritualist retreat. Then, unexpectedly, a deaf child with an eerie resemblance to Samantha’s daughter wanders onto her property and changes everything.
Reviews of Painting Bridges
“Painting Bridges is a lovely exploration of the ways we grieve, and the ways we heal.”
– Ann Hood, author of The Knitting Circle and The Obituary Writer
“Pat Averbach’s Painting Bridges is a graceful debut novel of grief and redemption. Part memorial, part love story, part coming-into-one’s-own, it is a classic narrative that reaches out to every kind of reader.”
– Liz Rosenberg, author of The Laws of Gravity and Home Repair
“Samantha doesn’t want to talk to anyone until her life is turned up-side-down by a young deaf girl who can’t talk at all. Patricia Averbach finds just the right details to pull us into Samantha’s world that bridges Cleveland and rural Catawba County. Painting Bridges is an intimate, in-depth look at how we can climb out of the depth of loss to experience the world anew.”
– Sarah Willis, author of Some Things That Stay and The Sound of Us