Community comment are the opinions of contributing users. These comment do not represent the opinions of Strathcona County Library.
Jul 18, 2023
This book is so unique it almost defies description. To start with, the book is narrated by the 600-year-old Karlův Bridge. The bridge is self-aware and humorous, and it guides us through each story, offering small insights into the characters or tidbits of the history of Prague. I thought it would be strange, but I found myself looking forward to the bridge’s perspective. Showing the elephant’s memories of her long-ago capture in Africa seemed odd, but learning bit-by-bit how Sál came to be in the Prague Zoo and how her memories influence how she behaves on the night she escapes makes more and more sense as the book goes on. Between these two frames, the deftly interwoven stories of each character is where this novel shines. We start with Vasha, the night watchman at the Zoo who reads to the elephants, and Marta, his psychologist wife who has just decided she wants to have a baby. I loved the story of Mercy, a recovering alcoholic and lighthouse keeper on a remote Scottish Island, and Joseph, a clown who busks on the bridge and is terrified of water. There were so many interesting stories woven in that my only complaint is I wanted more!