Every once in awhile, a story comes along that is impossible to categorize. The Bridge of Little Jeremy is such a story. We learn right away that Jeremy suffers from a heart condition, but that he is well-cared for by his mother and his faithful canine companion Leon. We also learn that Jeremy is an artist who sells his paintings to help pay the bills. The story begins as a simple account of Jeremy’s life inside the Paris apartment he shares with his mother, and his adventures when she’s at work. We follow Jeremy as he explores parts of the apartment, leading to an amazing discovery in an underground vault, which becomes the catalyst that drives the story forward.
This treasure might save Jeremy’s mother from going to jail for non-payment of inheritance taxes, but first he has to find out more about it and the man responsible for it. This journey takes Jeremy all over Paris, where he uses his artist eye to uncover beauty everywhere he looks. Perhaps the most entertaining relationship in the book is that between Jeremy and Leon, his constant canine companion. Leon takes on human characteristics here, which are both comical and unbelievable. It is easy to get caught up in Jeremy’s journey, which makes the ending heart-wrenching.
This is Indrajit Garai’s third novel, and features lovely descriptions but sometimes awkward dialog (quite possibly due to translation issues from French to English). This did not affect my enjoyment of the story. Garai paints a picture of Paris with words that dramatically illustrates how Jeremy sees his world. Being an artist, he sees detail and he sees beauty where others might not. Garai develops an interesting relationship between Jeremy and his artist mentor Paulo that is touching, lending a new depth to the story as Jeremy works to help his mother pay her taxes.
If you are looking for a book that will make you think about how you see things and how you react to everything around you, give this one a try.