Mrs. Bridge

Mrs. Bridge

Paperback(Anniversary Edition)

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"Again and again. . . I find myself being a Mrs. Bridge evangelist, telling them that it’s a perfect novel, and then pressing copies on them. . . What writing! Economical, piquant, beautiful, true." —Meg Wolitzer, The New York Times

In Mrs. Bridge, Evan S. Connell, a consummate storyteller, artfully crafts a portrait using the finest of details in everyday events and confrontations. The novel is comprised of vignettes, images, fragments of conversations, events—all building powerfully toward the completed group portrait of a family, closely knit on the surface but deeply divided by loneliness, boredom, misunderstandings, isolation, sexual longing, and terminal isolation. In this special fiftieth anniversary edition, we are reminded once again why Mrs. Bridge has been hailed by readers and critics alike as one of the greatest novels in American literature.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781582435688
Publisher: Counterpoint Press
Publication date: 01/05/2010
Edition description: Anniversary Edition
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 82,701
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Evan Connell's other novels include Mr. Bridge, The Diary of a Rapist, and The Connoisseur. He has also written short stories, collected in Saint Augustine's Pigeon, book-length poems (Notes From a Bottle Found On the Beach at Carmel and Points for a Compass Rose) and nonfiction (most recently the best-selling Son of the Morning Star). All of these titles are available from North Point Press.

What People are Saying About This

Johathan Yardley

The reissue of these classic American novels is an event to be celebrated.... Mr. and Mrs. Bridge are forever human, forever vulnerable, forever pitiable. In spare, whimsical, ironic prose, Connell exposes each and every one of their wrinkles and then, in the end, offers them to us as human beings to be cherished."

Wallace Stegner

A hell of a portrait.

Customer Reviews

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Mrs. Bridge 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Schmerguls on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have admired Thomas Savage ever since I on Oct 25, 1989, read his superaltively powerful novel The Power of the Dog and when I heard that he had said Mrs. Bridge was one of the best novels he had ever read I sought it out and have now read it. It tells of an incredibly ineffectual society woman in Kansas City utterly dominated by her brusque lawyer-husband and overwhelmed by her growing children. I found the book laugh out loud funny often even though the woman's inability to assert herself or to express an unfavorable opinion is pathetic. The bookt is extremely easy to read and thought-provoking. It is so good that one thinks one should read other books by Evan S. Connell.
MarysGirl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A brilliant book! Evan S. Connell anticipates Betty Freidan's The Feminine Mystique and "the problem with no name" by four years. Mrs. Walter Bridge is a pampered upper-middle class wife, clueless mother, and model community member who struggles with her own identity outside of her relationships with others. She's bored, empty, scared and has no language to express her needs. And she's not the only one in her set - a good friend commits suicide. Although the story is poignant and sad, the writing is what paints this portrait of an unrealized woman. Connell builds this portrait with perfect brush strokes - short vignettes over a lifetime showing mundane but telling moments. Although there is no traditional narrative or plot, the reader sees deeply into the characters and sympathizes with their repressed and unrealized lives. Highly recommend this one!
porch_reader on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book, written in 1959, tells the story of Mrs. Bridge, a society lady living in Kansas City around the 1940s. The book is made up of very short chapters, snippets that provide striking insight into Mrs. Bridge's life. In the beginning, I didn't like Mrs. Bridge much. She seemed more concerned with appearances than with substance, and she passed this view along to her children. Her husband, Mr. Bridge, played a very minor role in the book, showing up (sometimes) for dinner after a hard day at work. (However, Connell wrote another book, [Mr. Bridge], from his point of view.) But by the end of the book, I really felt sorry for Mrs. Bridge. Connell was able to convey the emptiness in her life with a few well-placed details. So, while I can't say that I enjoyed Mrs. Bridge's story, I admired the telling. Connell painted a vivid picture that I imagine will stick with me for a while.
tloeffler on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
India Bridge is a perfect woman with a perfect life: married to a successful lawyer, mother of 3 children, maven of the Kansas City country club set in the years surrounding World War II. It's difficult to say what this book is about. It's about India Bridge. And yet, it is so much more. I found this to be one of the most touching and sad books I have ever read, but the tragedies are the day-to-day ones. There is no overwhelming climax, nothing extraordinary, and the ending, although abrupt, is absolutely perfect. And I think that the cover of my book, unlike the others shown, is the best of them all.
debnance on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love the way this book was written, in little short chapters, little scenes from Mrs. Bridge's life. Each little chapter is like a Zen story, a little piece of a life that zings the reader like a tiny dart. Recommended.
amnesta on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
James Patterson claims this book had the greatest influence on him as a writer
mpmills on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Mrs. Bridge is married to a successful lawyer and has three children. The novel is set in Kansas City during WWII and the years immediately proceeding it, and is told in a series of small snippets, sometimes just a few paragraphs.. Mrs. Bridge is always concerned with keeping up appearances, yet things never seem to go as she has planned. Such a sad character. Good book.
jwhenderson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"She spent a great deal of time staring into space, oppressed by the sense that she was waiting. But waiting for what? She did not know." This is a beautifully written novel. Built through a mosaic of vignettes and episodes in the life of the titular character and her family, the novel gently limns the world of the aptly named Mrs. Bridge. She is a part of the generation that tries to hold on to the past during the era between the wars. It is not immediately clear that her family is living through the depression, although early in the novel the hard work of her husband is emphasized, it is hard work that pays off in a better life for Mrs. Bridge and the family. Toward the end of the book, their son Douglas heads off to WWII, signalling an end to an era. While the senior Bridges are tradition bound and deeply conformist, their children and their society are changing rapidly. Evan Connell paints a sympathetic but fairly condescending portrait of Mrs. Bridge as she fights to hold back the tide of these changes. She struggles to preserve proprieties and appearances as her three children grow increasingly rebellious at the stifling social conventions that she seeks to force upon them. Meanwhile, as the children grow away from her, and with Mr. Bridge completely focused on his legal work, Mrs. Bridge begins to sense an emptiness in her own life. At one point, a friend who later takes her own life asks : "Have you ever felt like those people in the Grimm fairy tales--the ones who were all hollowed out in back?" This is pretty clearly Connell's point in the book, that Mrs. Bridge, however likable, is indeed hollow, that she is all deference to her husband, service to her children, and conformity to public mores, with no room left over for a unique and genuine person. He conveys this message with great humor and no little understanding, but it can't help but be a pretty harsh indictment of her essentially wasted life.Then there are two scenes with Mr. Bridge, one where, having gone to their club to celebrate their anniversary, he refuses to leave the dinner table as a tornado approaches. The twister does indeed miss them, but the episode suggests the solidity of Mr. Bridge and of their marriage, both unyielding even to forces of nature :"The tornado, whether impressed by his intransigence or touched by her devotion, had drawn itself up into the sky and was never seen or heard of again."And in the most moving scene, Mrs. Bridge, despite having not cooked in years, tries to make Mr. Bridge's favorite dessert, pineapple bread, and biffs it horribly, Mr. Bridge gently tells her, "Never mind", and the next day brings her a dozen roses. Though Mr. Bridge is rarely even present in the book, these episodes capture the strength and essential goodness of the marriage.Finally, though the children move away, even move quite far away, the most pleasant thoughts of the more rebellious daughter are of home and the other daughter returns whenever there's trouble in her own ill-advised marriage. And the son, Douglas, grows up to be a man very much like his father. They, like Mrs. Bridge, and like the author himself, seem to realize that though the life that the Bridges have made may at first seem emotionally stunted, overly circumscribed, and unfulfilling, upon further reflection, there is something powerfully compelling about it. This book is terrific, by turns moving and funny and heartbreaking - there are many small moments of humor that both lighten and enliven the story. But in the end, the Bridges come off much better than they first appear, and forty years later they look better still. Would that we had a bridge back to the simple values they represent.
ElizabethChapman on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Author Evan S. Connell depicts the life of a middle-class woman and her family through a series of snippets, vignettes, and interludes -- no "chapter" in the novel is more than ten pages long and some are only six sentences.With sequences entitled "Guest Towels," "Nothing Spectacular," "One Summer Morning," "Servant's Entrance," and "Parking," Connell builds a portrait of an existence that is mundane, yet also encompasses the profound grief, doubt, and accomplishments of which everyday life is made.The following passage illustrates Connell's beautifully simple writing and how he reveals the sorrow of decades in a single paragraph: "Her husband had never been a demonstrative man, not even when they were first married; consequently she did not expect too much from him. Yet there were moments when she was overwhelmed by a terrifying, inarticulate need. One evening as she and he were finishing supper together, alone, the children having gone out, she inquired rather sharply if he loved her. She was surprised by her own bluntness and by the almost shrewish tone of her voice, because that was not the way she actually felt. She saw him gazing at her in astonishment; his expression said very clearly: Why on earth do you think I'm here if I don't love you? Why aren't I somewhere else? What in the world has gotten into you?" Mrs. Bridge is a very quiet book of tiny moments that cumulatively pack one hell of a mighty wallop.
EpicTale on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"Mrs. Bridge" is an outstanding book! Connell has created a masterpiece of well-observed vignettes about the 1930s-1940s upper middle class American society, psyche, and vulnerabilities that define Mrs. Bridge. He realistically, sympathetically, and sometimes humorously portrays a range of different characters in a way that brings them to life in the context of a society which is so different from today's. I really enjoyed Connell's writing style and was impressed with his dead-on but understated characterizations. Connell's spare writing forces the reader to fill in the details of the characters he has sketched so carefully. This is the best book I have read in about a year.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is like no other you will read. It is NOT a happy book. The book portrays the life and thoughts of a very rich family post WW2. The man and wife are unhappy and the woman, who is quite old fashioned, does not recognize her own children and their strange behaviors. It is quite sad that the material good don't make them happy and that the wife cannot even relate to her own children. This story still rings true today. Just subsitute a big SUV instead of a Lincoln. People today still try to buy happiness with money and like the book and like in real life, that does not work.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Both Mrs Bridge and Mr Bridge are perhaps the finest American novels written since WWII. The minimalist prose and the insights into human nature reach to the Maugham level.