There are infinite universes. She’s looking for one . . .
In infinite parallel universes, there’s a version of you who already has everything you’ve ever wanted. But 24 year old drop-out Bridge is paralysed, by all the other lives she could have lived, the choices she could have made, and now, whoever she’s supposed to be in the wake of her mother’s premature death.
They’ve always had a complicated relationship. Jo was the teenage runaway turned maverick neuroscientist who threw everything away chasing after an impossibility – a mysterious artefact – the dreamworm – that allows you to switch between realities. And now she’s dead and any chance of reconciliation with her.
But is Jo really gone… or only in this universe? When Bridge and her best friend Dom stumble on the dreamworm, that does indeed open the doors to other worlds, otherselves, she becomes convinced her mom is lost out there. But the dreamworm is more dangerous than she can imagine, and she’s not the only one hunting across time and space.
“Bridge spiders out into alternate universes, alternate selves, yet manages to be very much about us and our fractured now. It’s a humane, thought-provoking puzzle box, and a wildly entertaining novel.” — Paul Tremblay, bestselling author of The Cabin at the End of the World and The Pallbearers Club
“I absolutely loved it. This fantastic high-wire act of a novel, accelerating to a heart-stopping climax, is at once a cosmic narrative on a grand scale and a deeply intimate human story.” — Catriona Ward, bestselling author of The Last House on Needless Street
“Fast, sharp, weird, wonderful; Lauren Beukes’s Bridge is a trip, a reconfiguration of reality, a sacred dreamworm operation manual, a celebration of chaos, and a wildly entertaining novel. No one does it like Beukes, and this is her best one yet. Buckle up and enjoy the ride.” — Gabino Iglesias, author of The Devil Takes You Home
“There are a lot of books out there already about husbands trying to save their wives via other dimensions, but this is the first time I’ve seen a daughter go into other worlds to find her mother. This isn’t just mind-bending scifi; it’s a thriller driven by a frenetic search for both love and answers. Beukes’ trademark balance between horror and thriller, with a focus on character, is on full display in Bridge.” — Crime Reads
“Beukes is on authorial fire here, not merely because of the heart-stopping plot . . . But it’s the plethora of engaging characters that adds real substance and immersive texture to this multilayered thriller. . . Into her bigger-picture narrative, Beukes has elegantly woven observations on late-stage capitalism as well as the horrors of systemic poverty, domestic abuse, racism, and war.” — Boston Globe
“A mystery and a family drama wrapped in the trappings of science fiction . . . Beukes impressively paints each individual with a highly realistic level of detail and a clear-eyed perspective on their faults. Beukes drops clues about the dreamworm and the mysterious forces trying to claim it for their own throughout, and while readers will be able to piece some or all of these mysteries together, the twists are still surprising and the payoffs still satisfying.” — Book Reporter
“Lauren Beukes turns her glimmering, dark imagination to multiverse time travel . . . as Bridge skips into multiple worlds and selves, she faces her mother’s delusions, the dangers of time-travel, and revelations of grief.” — Bustle
“What Beukes brings is – like her protagonist – multiple. First, the imagery is brilliantly quirky (zeotropes, a thumb piano, a yappy dog), so the set-up is nicely awry: there isn’t a science behind this horror. Second, she is more concerned with morals than politics, though she lobs in some good jokes. Third, she highlights how reliant we are on phones and iPads and social media – as if we did not know who we are without them. It’s a fun novel, but also a serious one.” — The Spectator
“What if our dreams are twisted-up memories? What if the Mandela Effect isn’t an effect at all? Somewhere between The Lathe of Heaven and Everything Everywhere All at Once is Lauren Beukes’ Bridge: it’s not just reality that’s multifold, it’s identity. Bridge challenges our sense of reality, chips away at our conception of the self, and shoves us down a slide of our own paranoia. But, it’s Lauren Beukes—this is what she does, isn’t it?” — Stephen Graham Jones, New York Times bestselling author of The Only Good Indians
“Vast in scope and heart, Bridge is both a thrilling exploration of the known universe and an intimate portrayal of a daughter’s yearning for her mother. Lauren Beukes has crafted a suspenseful, deeply immersive odyssey that will make you consider the alternate possibilities inside us all. A perfect summer read.” — Katie Gutierrez, author of More Than You’ll Ever Know
“Takes the reality-shattering, time-warping power of grief to new dimensions—literally. . . . flashing between different timelines, realities, and perspectives, Lauren Beukes constructs a fast-paced and masterfully kaleidoscopic tale that nails grief in all its humor, absurdity, and tenderness.” — Oprah Daily
“I’m a big fan of Beukes’ horror-tinged, speculative suspense novels—she is apparently an endless well of terrifyingly good ideas. For instance: in this novel, a woman who can’t make up her mind about anything finds an object she thought was imaginary in her dead mother’s freezer: the “dreamworm,” which opens up a path to all other realities—and a million and one dangers. Fun!” — Literary Hub
“Motherhood makes monsters of us all, too. Beukes doesn’t shy away from the idea of motherhood as inherently parasitic in nature: whether it is the ties of shared cells, of foetal matter left behind in a woman’s body after she’s given birth, or generational trauma, Bridge reminds us that there are always accidental, unwanted inheritances, body swaps of a whole other nature, especially between mothers and daughters. . . . This love that Bridge feels, the guilt she carries alongside the grief she has not yet processed, this is what pushes her into a storm of multiverse activity, with raging realities coming together in a thrilling crescendo that does not miss a beat. Beukes does puzzle box thrillers very well, and within that genre, she is continuously able to explore greater depths of the human experience. Bridge is a powerful exploration of grief, loss, love and the very human desperation for another chance.” — Tor
“Beukes’ space-time-continuum distortion of a novel is like that rare blockbuster film that delivers on both special effects and thought-provoking moral dilemmas. Bridge is high-concept entertainment at its finest, with a heavy dose of wistfulness keeping the fantastical elements grounded.” — ShelfAwareness
“What if Jo was right, not just sick, when she declared “Reality is not real”? Beukes does a skillful job of balancing these possibilities, drawing us into Bridge’s desperate but very relatable hope as she hunts for clues, while maintaining a note of scepticism via regular chapters told from the anxious, protective perspective of her friend Dom. […] This is a complex, challenging genre fiction with the pace of a thriller; a gripping, thought-provoking and affecting exploration of means, ends and multiple lives.” — SFX, starred review
“Lauren Beukes takes a story filled with psychedelic drugs, parallel worlds, and neuroscience and makes it also about a complex mother-daughter relationship, full of darkness, light, and longing. This is fun and insane and very moving.” — Mariana Enriquez, author of The Dangers of Smoking in Bed
“Lauren Beukes’ multiverse is sheer thrilling madness with a big, beating heart that reminds us that we’re all connected in the end.” — Grady Hendrix, New York Times bestselling author of The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires and How To Sell a Haunted House
“What if it were possible to inhabit different versions of yourself in different realities? Beukes explores the scientific and ethical ramifications—with a healthy dose of speculative horror. Cleaning out her estranged mother’s house after she dies, Bridget Kittinger-Harris finds a horrifying husk she recognizes as “the dreamworm,” sparking memories from her childhood of strange adventures and her neuroscientist mother’s odd, sometimes dangerously neglectful behavior. […] The worldbuilding here is skillful, as is the pacing—Beukes avoids dropping anvil-like plot points or world details, trusting the reader to unpack clues and read between the lines. […] And maybe grief itself, Beukes suggests on a deeper level, is strong enough to alter space and time. Effective as metaphor but mostly ass-kicking, mind-bending entertainment.” — Kirkus Reviews
“Beukes’s plotting is tight, her many voices never muddle, and the pacing never falters as Bridge tears through worlds. . . . You can tell Beukes is having an absolute blast putting words on the page. Her fun is evident in the big, bloody action sequences; in the squirmy, almost retro grotesqueness of the dreamworm. And she does it all while probing one of life’s most tantalizing questions: How do we become the people we are?” — New York Times
“Beukes has never shied away from a conceptual challenge. But Bridge is an even deeper step into the offbeat, an imaginative stew that folds in a rare array of ingredients: neuroscience and parasitology, musical theory and Haitian Voudou.” — Elle Magazine
“An addictive page-turner that draws on not only theoretical quantum physics, but research into neuroscience, altered states and parasitology for a fascinating, compelling story and an original take on the many worlds theory.” — The Guardian
“Searching for the answers will gnaw at the reader; it’s impossible to stop reading until they find out if their theories are right or wrong, even if that discovery comes at 2 a.m. and they will certainly regret it at work later that day. Ahem. Some readers may experience this, anyway.” — BookPage
“Bridge’s chase after her mother is, by turns, a bracing meditation on what it means to make choices […]. Will she find the right universe? Will she find a monster that infests its host, making them obsessively seek better realities? The twists and epiphanies kept me turning every last page.” — New Scientist
“The book is pulse-pounding in its plotting, but is full of smart and poignant ideas about both grief and the complicated relationship between mothers and daughters. The central narrative is a fantasy about wish fulfilment, and like all such fantasies, it comes at a price. Beukes handles the balance between action and emotion brilliantly, with a certain amount of self-referential black humour and terrific and realistic characterisation across the board. This is speculative fiction of the highest calibre.” — Big Issue