By Marissa Wells
“We are Bridges,” by Cassandra Lane, is a moving tale of the author’s family’s history.
After discovering that she was pregnant, Lane prepared for motherhood by going on a journey of exploration into her family’s rich history, moving back and forth in time between the 20th century in the rural South and present-day Los Angeles.
“We are Bridges” was inspired by the author’s move to Los Angeles from Louisiana in 2001 and how the move triggered her to think about her family and homeland more deeply.
“I was also doing some personal emotional and psychological work, and wanted to know how I had come to be the way I was. … I wanted to look at where the lines between my family and self began and ended,” Lane said. “Since I was examining some issues around race and romance, my focus became the earliest maternal relationship that I knew about — the love between my great-grandparents, Mary Magdalene Magee and Burt Bridges.”
Inside the book, Lane presents reimagined stories of her great-grandparents love and the trials that they faced in the rural South, including her great-grandfather’s lynching and how his wife handled that tragedy.
“I hope my readers will enjoy a sensual reading experience that allows them to enter the intimate world of the characters and, therefore, to reflect on their own deeply woven lives,” Lane said.
“We are Bridges” also addresses romance and marriage, as well as broken romance and marriage.
“The book looks at all of those hard situations,” Lane said. “How we get into those situations, how we need to face them, and try to heal from them.”
It’s the author’s hope that readers of the book learn more about themselves and learn to not run from painful circumstances.
“I think that we lose so much when we don’t look at the things that are hard because underneath those layers are also so many gifts and treasures,” Lane said. “Those are things that I hope to inspire in the reader, to not be afraid of introspection, to not be afraid of history.”
In addition to being an author, Lane is the managing editor of L.A. Parent Magazine. She is based in Los Angeles. For more information about the author and her work, visit cassandralane.net.
“We are Bridges” is available for $17.95 wherever books are sold, including local bookstores such as Reparations Club, Eso Won Books, Skylight Books and Vromans.