Painting Bridges


It’s April of 1976, eighteen months since Samantha lost her daughter and young husband. Immobilized by grief and afraid to drive, she’s barricaded herself in a dilapidated farmhouse in Western New York. Her wealthy parents want her back in Cleveland, but she refuses to go anywhere or to see anyone except her mother-in-law, an outspoken chain smoker who communicates with the dead through mediums at Lily Dale, a nearby spiritualist retreat. Then, unexpectedly, a deaf child with an eerie resemblance to Samantha’s daughter wanders onto her property and changes everything.

And so, with an intriguing set of characters and a plot just waiting to expand, Averbach unfolds this introspective, intelligent and moving novel.
— Michelle Ross, Cleveland Plain Dealer
Painting Bridges is a lovely exploration of the ways we grieve, and the ways we heal.
— Ann Hood, author of The Knitting Circle and The Obituary Writer
Patricia Averbach finds just the right details to pull us into Samantha’s world that bridges Cleveland and rural Catawba County. Painting Bridges is an intimate, in-depth look at how we can climb out of the depth of loss to experience the world anew.
— – Sarah Willis, author of Some Things That Stay and The Sound of Us
Part memorial, part love story, part coming-into-one’s-own, it is a classic narrative that reaches out to every kind of reader.
— – Liz Rosenberg, author of The Laws of Gravity and Home Repair

Missing Persons


Averbach’s poetry chapbook, Missing Persons, won the London based Lumen/Camden Poetry Competition in 2013.

In Patricia Averbach’s Missing Persons (Ward Wood), it is difficult to distinguish between the living and the dead. While individuals float away from each other or bereaved families drift apart like planets in an expanding universe, the dead follow us back from their own funerals or join us at the sink “dressed in a linen suit and high-heeled shoes”. Averbach knows it is love which holds the universe together, not the laws of physics.
— The Times Literary Supplement