64 pages 2 hours read

Markus Zusak

Bridge of Clay

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2018

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Part 4, Chapters 39-50

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 4: “cities + waters + criminals + arches”

Part 4, Chapter 39 Summary: “the clay stack”

Clay reviews the Murderer’s (Michael’s) notes about bridges, eventually finding instructions for how to dig the bridge’s foundation. He begins to dig, imagining Henry is there with him.

Part 4, Chapter 40 Summary: “the lives before they had us”

Michael and Penelope meet the day of the piano delivery, and he smiles at her as they complete the moving job. She tries to repay him for his help, and he waits outside as he listens to her play the first few notes. After their initial meeting, they start to see each other around the neighborhood more. Penelope even walks by his house, hoping to catch a glimpse of him, but Michael is frightened of heartbreak. After several months, Penelope finally goes to his house and asks him on a date. They talk in his house for hours, culminating in their first kiss.

Part 4, Chapter 41 Summary: “the boy with bleeding hands”

Clay devotes himself to digging the bridge foundation, getting little sleep and working until his hands blister. He works for five days and decides to visit the city.

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By Markus Zusak