The Bridge Home

by Padma Venkatraman Year Published: 2019

In India, 11-year-old Viji and her 12-year-old sister, Rukku, run away to Chennai after their violent father strikes out at them. On the city streets, the sisters find shelter by a bridge, adopt a stray dog, and meet brothers Mathu and Arul, who quickly become a kind of family to them. They all soon form a family of sorts, sharing food and supplies and laughing together about the absurdities of life. Rukku's intellectual disability has made her dependent on Viji, who gradually learns that her sister is capable of more than she had thought. Despite their determination, hunger and sickness eventually take their toll on the children. Viji must lean on her new family to learn to cope with grief and move on.