“Furlough Bridge” by Jardonn Smith— A Road Trip

Smith, Jardonn. “Furlough Bridge”, MLR Press, 2010.

A Road Trip

Amos Lassen

We met Gaither and Wilton in “Grit” a novel co-authored by Jardonn Smith and William Maltese but they also appear in a short story by Smith, “Furlough Bridge”. Set in 1944 in December, the main character here is Forrest Barton, a war veteran who worries about his friend Ernie who is a soldier marching toward Belgium to meet with the army that would eventually fight in the Battle of the Bulge. While this is a short story, the characters are well developed as is the plot and abouve all it brings us the two characters who appear later. The trademark of Smith’s prose–clean writing and a smoth story line also characterize this and while it is a quick read, it is certainly an enjoyable one. Barton is so upset that he goes to a train station in hopes of rasing the spirits of traveling serviceman and as a way to get his mind off of Ernie but his plans run afoul when he volunteers to help a soldier who missed his train to get home. Barton finds himself on a road trip that becomes an unforgettable adventure.

 

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