Author(s): Hattie Pond + Num Stubbe (Illustrator)
Wandering in and about London, the characters of On Wandsworth Bridge often seem larger than life. Never reduced to stereotypes, though, they develop and come alive with a touching humanity and humour that makes the reader care deeply about their actions and fates. At the heart of Hattie Pond's novel is a hero's journey--though that hero has few redeeming features, is wholly unaware of his importance, and ultimately inflicts great harm on those around him. The story's underlying theme builds on C. P. Snow's theory of two cultures--the sciences and the humanities--and explores the dangers of allowing a separation between them. Pond also weaves minor science fiction elements and social satire throughout the novel's structure; amid an otherwise realist novel, for example, we encounter the multiverse and time travel. These are not merely plot mechanisms or purely for comedic effect, however--Pond bases her depictions on existing scientific theories. Presented through delightful dialogue and vivid depiction, the characters of On Wandsworth Bridge will remain with readers long after the last page.