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Mr. Bridge: A Novel Paperback – January 13, 2005

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Counterpoint; Reprint edition (January 13, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593760604
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593760601
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #81,650 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 14 customer reviews
The book is extremely easy to read and thought-provoking.
Still, there is something compelling about her, something real and honest about her character that made me want to keep reading.
This book drew the character of Mr. Bridge so magnificently that I was amazed at how well I knew him.
Barbara Marcus

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By electra wilson on September 6, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It took some time for me to get to this review for a simple reason: I so tremendously enjoyed both Mrs. and then Mr.Bridge. that I wanted to make sure I said the right thing to encourage everyone to also feast on these wonderful American novels.
Both these books are so beautifully written, so carefully honed, so excellently edited and are such remarkable windows into a past generation, they cannot be dismissed for any reason.
Do not hesitate to indulge yourself.
So much can be said about the emotions stirred (from anger and sadness to outright laughter) by this upper middle class couple, so typical for their generation, it would be frivolous to try to convince with more words. There are already multiple 5-star reviews here. Believe them.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Cosmoetica on October 12, 2008
Format: Paperback
Mrs. Bridge, the lead of the first book, written in 1959, is named India, and she falls in love with Walter, her husband, and they have two daughters, Ruth and Carolyn, and a son, Douglas. Walter is a lawyer and the second book, Mr. Bridge, is from his point of view, and was written in 1969. This decade difference shows. Mr. Bridge is the longer, more complex work, and while it covers many of the same incidents as Mrs. Bridge there are divergences. For instance, Mrs. Bridge focuses more heavily on the family life, and in it we witness the death of Mr. Bridge, and the ascension of Douglas to family head, just as the Second World War starts. Mr. Bridge focuses on his work, politics, and a wider range of social topics. The first book checks in at 117 chapters and 246 pages, while the second is a heftier 141 chapters and 367 pages.

That said, both are great books. Period. If you want character development, poetic moments, insight, a portrait of a certain time and place, these two books cannot be beat. The Bridges are petty, refined, bigoted, caring, aloof, devoted, rich, yet simple people. In a sense it is almost impossible to review one without the other. Significantly, both books start off with the wooing and marriage of both. It is as if the books' titles signify not only who are the main characters, but what they are. Both characters define themselves by their spouse, and, de facto, all we know, or need to know, about them revolves around their married personae. The only thing more important to the couple than each other seems to be what others think of them. In Mrs.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Tom Bruce on January 26, 2008
Format: Paperback
I became aware of this book while looking for something good to watch on TV and came upon the movie "Mr. and Mrs. Bridge" starring Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman. I watched a bit of the film, then checked the TV guide and found that it was based on the books "Mr. Bridge" and "Mrs. Bridge." The movie looked good, so I immediately turned it off while vowing to get the books then watch the film. "Mrs. Bridge" was written ten years earlier than the "Mr.," so I decided to read it first. Immediately, I became aware of the style Connell chose in writing this book. It is not a story, per se, but a series of 117 brief anecdotes - many as short as one to three paragraphs, a few three or four pages long. These tell the story of Mrs. Bridge, wife of a prominent lawyer and mother of three, who lives in a well-to-do neighborhood of Kansas City, is part of the country club social set, and spends most of her day trying to find something interesting to do in the years between the two World Wars. She has household help, so nothing to do on the homefront, except for one night a week when she has to cook dinner - usually a casserole. Her days are made up of shopping for non-essentials, like toys, which she decides you no longer play with, but operate. She has lunch in the mall with friends or alone, watches her children grow and go their own way, and sits around the home at evening listening to the radio and watching her husband read the newspaper before he goes to bed early, because of another busy day at the office tomorrow. The anecdotes are in chronological order and this is a fast and fascinating read. Mrs. Bridge feels sorry for herself, probably more than we do for her. Her life is almost expressionless. There is very little emotional connection between her, her husband, and their three children.Read more ›
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Dana Biscotti Myskowski on February 6, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Hello? Does anyone hear Mrs. Bridge as she sits, stuck in her elegant Lincoln, the doors blocked by the garage partition (245-246). Indeed, no one can more hear her here, trapped in the car, than they can hear her quiet thoughts of desperation, blocked for years by the partitions of a properly lived life as the good wife, proper mother, and country club Matron.

Her husband provided a life of luxury for Mrs. Bridge and their children, but he was seldom home and never once asked his wife which she'd prefer: his being home more or a large house in the right neighborhood, a cook, a laundress, a country club membership, and, if even for a short while, a chauffeur. So it was no shock when her husband gave Mrs. Bridge an elegant Lincoln for her birthday for "he was determined to give her costly presents" including also an ermine coat and a diamond necklace (142).

While she loved these gifts, "she could not help being a little embarrassed by the opulence of her possessions" under the stares of passersby or of people watching her attempt to park the "altogether too long" car (142, 128). She wished she could stop and explain to people that these extravagances were birthday presents, not asked for, but given to her from her husband who "was still at work...though it was nine in the evening" and she would prefer he was home (143).

This desire to not attract attention to herself extended to her children. When Ruth appeared at the breakfast table dressed "in Mexican huaraches, Japanese silk pajamas...and for earrings a cluster of tiny golden bells that tinkled whenever she moved," Mrs. Bridge, "whose preference in earrings tended toward the inconspicuous," could not contain her displeasure (57). Mrs.
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