American photographer Stephen Brings has fled a troubled relationship in Chicago and the painful memory of a kidnapped and still-missing son, only to stumble into the Balkans at the outbreak of the civil wars.
As he drifts through the countryside, Stephen struggles to resolve the trauma and sorrow of losing his son, and soon the landscape begins to mirror his own inner battles. After a return trip to America fails to heal the rift between himself and the mother of his child, Stephen returns to Sarajevo, where he begins a project to document images of the Bosnian people—not war images, but personal portraits of an embattled nation. There he finds himself falling in love with a German journalist, who helps to heal his ailing body and to overcome his tragic loss.
The Goat Bridge is an unforgettable tale of memory and oblivion, a probing story of loss and redemption, of letting go and holding on, and of the universal human search for meaning. In the end, it is also a love story about finding the wisdom and courage to surrender to one's own and another's heart.
"Brilliant. . . . The intricately layered narrative, moving back and forth in time and space, builds to a conclusion both bloody and subtle. . . ."
"Touched with some of the aphoristic delicacy of Milan Kundera, and searching in the mode of Graham Greene, McNally's tale of redemption nonetheless has a sinewy elegance entirely its own."
"[A] lacerating and exquisite novel of loss and mourning. . . ."
—Booklist: A 2005 Editors' Choice
Cover image: James Lauritz/Getty images.