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Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 169

Bridge of Clay, written by Markus Zusak, is a novel about a family of five brothers, the Dunbars, and their relationships as they search for the reason behind their father's disappearance.

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The Dunbar brothers must learn to live in the adult world without guidance from their parents. Their mother, an immigrant who moved to Australia as a young girl, has passed away. After their mother's death, their father disappears and leaves the boys on their own. Each brother has his own personality and the boys find it difficult to continue their lives as a family as they get older.

This story is told from the point of view of the oldest brother, Matthew. The other brothers are Henry, the second oldest, Rory, the troublemaker, Tommy, the youngest, and Clay, the brother who does his best to build bridges, figuratively and literally, amongst his family members. In order to honor his parents, to help save himself, and to nurture and maintain relationships between his brothers, Clay builds a magnificent bridge.


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Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 137

Bridge of Clay is a novel that follows Matthew, one of five brothers, who recorded his family's history on a typewriter. After the death of their mother and the disappearance of their father shortly thereafter, the brothers drifted apart, but Matthew chronicled the lives of his siblings and parents. For instance, Matthew wrote about his mother coming to Australia as an immigrant when she was a young girl and his father's life of raising five boys.

He primarily wrote about the fourth brother, Clay, a character who built bridges between family members and sought to discover the truth behind his father's disappearance and subsequent death. The author also revealed how the loss of their parents devastated the brothers and caused emotional trauma that only Clay could alleviate. The story covers such issues as forgiveness, discovery, and healing.

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