The Shadow of The Bridge is a coming-of-age historical novel, located in the remote coal-mining mountains of West Virginia. El, age 12, and Edgar, 14, avidly follow the radio broadcasts of President Roosevelt, Churchill, and Lindbergh among others, tracking the war, and dreaming of one day flying, like 'Lindy'. They sneak out at night, climb up the mountain to the 121-foot high railroad bridge, lie on the crossties, and watch the activities in their town which is built below the bridge. A young couple, unable to accept the drowning of their baby daughter, become estranged. Later, when both are found below the bridge, it is reported as a double suicide. El knows better. She was on the bridge when it happened, and after running down the mountain to get help, she contacts pneumonia.
El knows the global disaster precipitates the local tragedy but is unable to prevent it, just as Roosevelt and Churchill are unable to prevent the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
The boys next door join the Navy, leaving behind a pregnant teenaged girl who doesn't know which one is the father of her baby. The boys are on board the USS West Virginia when it is sunk at Pearl Harbor, their fate is uncertain.
El' s father is responsible for maintaining the high voltage electrical system that runs the trains hauling coal from the mines to the industrial sites, for the manufacturing of the implements of war. Roosevelt must deal with striking miners and railroad workers. He and Churchill craft the Lend-Lease Bill to give aid to Great Britain as that country stands alone against Germany. By the end of 1941, the United States and Great Britain have declared war against Japan, and war spreads world-wide. El survives pneumonia, but she has grown up; her ambition to fly like Lindy, remains.
In the Shadow of the Bridge
Paperback: 456 pages
Publisher: Global Summit House (February 10, 2020)
Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds