The Boy on the Bridge is set in Russia in 1982. Our heroine, Laura Reid, is an American college student studying abroad for one semester in Russia. The book covers that semester January through June.
So early in the novel, Laura meets Alexei (Alyosha). Yes, they meet on a bridge. He "rescues" her from some gypsies demanding money. They talk a few minutes; he tells her he would love to get to know her better, hands her his phone number, tells her how to get in touch. She's not to use any phone near the University. It would be dangerous for them both if their friendship were to be discovered. He wants to practice his English, so he says. And she wants to practice her Russian. And that is how this romance starts.
The Boy on The Bridge is very much a romance novel, one set in a unique place and time in history. It is very feelings-oriented. Laura is swept up in all these emotions as she falls hard for Alyosha. He becomes her entire world; she becomes his everything. It is pure agony to be away from each other even ten or twelve hours.
Is the relationship healthy? Is the relationship genuine? Is Alyosha wanting to marry her so he can get a green card and come to the United States? Is he using her to get out of Russia? Has he attempted this before? Those are the questions that haunt the pages of this romance novel. Laura has been warned by her friends, roommates, classmates, advisers, etc. that she is being too trusting, that she isn't using common sense.
The romance seems sweet in a few ways. But there are a few places where it grows darker. Readers will have to judge for themselves if the relationship is genuine and healthy.
I thought this one was very realistic in its ending.
© 2013 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews