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Publisher's Summary

Finalist, 2021 Indies Today Book Awards

Finalist, 16 Th Annual National Indie Excellence Awards (Addiction and Recovery Category)

Harm reductionist Harley Hammond manages a dedicated team at the Bridgeworks Syringe Access Program in the heart of Portland, Oregon. Known as a pillar of compassion and hope, she fights for the rights and well-being of people who use drugs.

When a torrent of fentanyl-laced heroin floods a city already crippled by the failed War on Drugs, overdose preventions are overwhelmed and the Bridgeworks team rushes to put life-saving supplies into the hands of those who need them most. As fatal overdoses skyrocket, stigma, blame and fear further fuel an already volatile public health crisis. Risking her position and incarceration, Harley turns to dealers and unsanctioned risk reduction tactics in an attempt to not only “meet people where they’re at,” but ensure no one else gets left behind.

In the wake of his award-winning first book, One Hit Away: A Memoir of Recovery, Barnes dives into the pivotal role of harm reduction programs as they relate to human rights, mental health, and social justice. From safer consumption spaces to safer drug use, and following a chilling record set for fatal overdoses in the US, Bridgetown: A Harm Reduction Novel is a found-family journey packed with empathy and urgency to follow the science and pathways proven to work.

©2021 Jordan Prescott Barnes (P)2022 Jordan Prescott Barnes

What listeners say about Bridgetown

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Love love love it

I really liked how the plot kept me engaged till the end, and really loved the characters because they were so unique! I also love that the book raises important questions. It gave me a lot to think about!

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An important novel from an author who’s lived it

Jordan Barnes made a splash with his memoir One Hit Away. It was a serious and meaningful examination of his own experience with addiction and recovery, a story that many people were able to draw inspiration from. With Bridgetown, Barnes leverages that experience into a powerful novel that champions topics that need more attention—and fiction (especially great fiction like this) is a perfect way to do so. Coupled with the spot-on narration, this is a story you shouldn’t miss.

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Amazing character development & an enlightening story line!

After finishing Jordan’s memoir, One Hit Away, I was excited to jump into his novel with both feet - and it did not disappoint. It took me on an emotional journey, and up to the very end of the book, I was still being surprised by the events of this story.

As a Portland native, I was interested in the story, the characters, the layer of truth in this fiction story. Portland does so much wrong; we approach drug abuse and recovery, wrong. This novel brings to light so many things we could be doing better.

The character development is so well done, I find myself wanting to get involved and do better, for these characters - and having to remind myself they aren’t real people, as this isn’t a nonfiction book.

In addition to the story itself being fantastic, the audio narration is top notch - vitally important in an audiobook. The characters had unique voices and traits, easily identifiable by the narrator. The interview at the end of the book is also amazing and thought provoking.

This novel left me wanting to spend time with the characters, and wanting to make change in my city…I look forward to researching more about the benefits of harm reduction and needle exchange programs, and will certainly look forward to Jordan’s next book - of any genre!

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A Novel But Also Reality

I received an ARC, and was excited to have the chance to read this in advance, after having been so blown over by the author's first book. When your first book is an autobiographical memoir, you'd think it would be difficult to successfully write a novel with the same intensity. But Jordan Barnes has done it, with fictitious characters as real as if they were people you know, and a storyline that is true-to-life and topical. The narration in the audible version is excellent.

The subject of the book is harm reduction as it relates to drug use and addiction, which includes not only resources for those who want to quit, but resources for those who can't or aren't ready to. Those resources include safe spaces and syringe exchange / access programs. It is the story of a harm reduction agency and the people involved with it, and how, as an influx of fentanyl-laced heroin makes its way into the city, they race to keep it from killing users, fighting a constant battle against the red-tape of regulations and government, NIMBY views, and societal barriers and biases.

The characters are true-to-life, and written with humanity. The clients are referred to not with the vague all-encompassing stereotypical term “junkie”, but given names, histories, families and pasts. In the author's words and realistic dialogue, we feel their pain and desperation, they are real to us. Harley is the tough and driven leader of the organization, a true fighter in the battle, with a strong sense of moral and ethical right-and-wrong and driven by a loss in her own life. She maintains a personal connection with the clients, instilling trust. She is compassionate, but with the strength of a bulldog when it comes to hurdling the barriers thrown up in front of her, and finding ways of getting over them, while never breaking the law. And she draws a hard-line when it comes to any actions of clients that could derail the program and ultimately hurt the people it is intended to help.

This is a work of fiction, a novel – but it addresses an existing problem and the strategies and principles that can successfully deal with it, and save lives. Included at the end of the book is supplementary information, such as a glossary and explanation of the acronyms, information about harm reduction principles and strategies, interviews with persons involved, and most importantly, resources for those that need help. It ends not with a sense of futility against an up-hill battle, but with hope and humanity -- and help.

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I'm sad its over!!!

I love this book!!! I love the characters, the story line and the fact that this is one of the most important reads I've ever come across!! Harm Reduction is the way of the future. The more we talk about it, the more we learn and we use it, the better off as a society we will be. This book.... isn't JUST a book. It brings a voice and life to many that have none. It shows the silent battles harm reduction workers face and fight EVERY day to help people who use drugs. It gives them a voice that is often not heard. It is educational, entertaining and just pure joy!! I can NOT say enough about it!

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A must read!

I received an arc and absolutely love Jordan’s writing style. He delivers such an impactful message and a level of understanding and empathy to such a taboo subject.

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Must read if you care about the opioid crisis

It’s hard to believe Jordan managed to write another book as good as his first, but he did! Bridgetown centers around a needle exchange and tells the story of those that run it and go there for services with the opioid epidemic at record highs. I love how Jordan educates about harm reduction while still telling an incredible story with realistic and painfully human characters. This book should be required reading for everyone right now. Fentanyl is killing a generation and books like this are part of the solution.

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Must listen

Bridgetown is such an important book. It’s a book that will make you care deeply about all the characters and their stories, all while teaching you about harm reduction. The narration is also a perfect fit. You won’t want to stop listening.

1 person found this helpful