Lester Trapp is Alton's favourite uncle. That's what Alton's mother has always told him, at least. Alton thinks that that's because Lester is also his wealthiest relative. So his mother jumps at the opportunity to have Alton spend more time with his great-uncle Lester, as his cardturner when Lester (who is blind) plays bridge. Alton knows nothing about bridge and even less about Lester, but as they spend more time together they start to form a strange bond.
I loved this book. I wasn't turned off by the premise of it being a bridge novel; I love books that are set in non-typical real-life worlds (there was a brief moment at the start where I confused bridge and cribbage, but once I got over that I was okay - and then started longing for a cribbage novel) (and I still want a ballroom dancing book). I've never played bridge, but I used to spend lots of hours in our high school caf playing lots of different card games, so I can understand its appeal to teenagers. Alton's voice grabbed me and kept me, and I started rooting for him, for his uncle, and for Toni. About two-thirds of the way through the book the story flips around and goes off in a very different direction, but because of the strength of the the first part, I was willing to go along with it. I wish I knew more about bridge so that I could end with some sort of bridge pun, but I don't, so I'll just go with, this book won its way into my heart.
Find it at IndieBound.
Read it with:
Holes by Louis Sachar
The Next Competitor by K.P. Kincaid
Bridge by David Bird
The View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg
The Devil's Tickets by Gary M. Pomerantz