Laura Pritchett

Sky Bridge

"From beginning to end, Sky Bridge grabs you by the heart and never lets you go."
The Denver Post

Twenty-two-year-old Libby works at a small grocery store in a luckless town in the rural West. Endlessly daydreaming, she sees herself becoming an artist, moving out of her mother's house to have her own, learning to play guitar. When her younger sister Tess becomes pregnant, Libby convinces her not to have an abortion by promising to raise the child, a promise she never really imagines she'll have to keep. Thrust into instant motherhood when Tess gives birth and then promptly leaves, Libby finds herself caring for a crying infant and overwhelmed by the task. The colorful cast of characters who rise up to support her from the hippie beekeeper, Ed Mongers, to Miguel Mendoza, a single father widowed by suicide, and various other folks from the small ranching community--round out this spirited story. Libby's lucid, painfully honest observations and her complex interiority comes with a fresh perspective on what it means to inhabit a world that has little room for optimism.

Pritchett's characters deal with the hidden underbelly of rural life the drug trafficking, the people who make a living driving undocumented workers over the border, the litany of low-wage jobs. As Libby struggles to make sense of the world, she discovers humor and courage in unlikely places. As the beekeeper Ed Monger says to Libby, "I think we should all be living more dangerous lives. We have to be careful, yes. But when we get too fearful, we become small."

Publisher's Weekly calls Sky Bridge a "compassionate, finely observed first novel" and Bookslist writes, "In this spare yet haunting portrait of the American West, Pritchett's powerful, poetic voice speaks with clarity, wisdom, and passion about country, family, and one young woman's majestic spirit." Library Journal calls it a "captivating novel" that "offers a gritty but redeeming picture of a family that never quite lets go of hope, and characters who are not soon forgotten." The book was also picked as a "Top Ten Books of the Year" by School Library Journal.