Evan S. Connell Ï Mrs Bridge text
mobi ½ Mrs Bridge Paperback read ↠ In Mrs Bridge Evan S Connell a consummate storyteller artfully crafts a portrait using the finest of details in everyday events and confrontations With a surgeon’s skill Connell cuts away the middle class security blanket of uniformity to expose the arrested development underneath—the entropy of time and reUp 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 literatur A uietly devastating portrayal of a housewife shorn of all personality or free will raising her typical kids in a typical Midwestern breadbasket under the aegis of her all powerful husband who has a seuel in which to express his own typicality The effect is similar to the poetic melodrama of The Book of Disuiet but with a lightly mocking and tender heartedly sympathetic tone and less insufferable moaning posing as philosophical profundity In under 200 canny pages this novel slowly disassembles the American Dream and blasts the capitalist utopia into smithereens with achingly lovely paragraphs of emptiness loneliness and trivial domestic matters At times unbearably sad and poignant As friend Grace Barron ably sums up “Have you ever felt like those people in the Grimm fairytale—the ones who were all hollowed out in the back?” p176
text ☆ Ï Evan S. Connell
In Mrs Bridge Evan S Connell a consummate storyteller artfully crafts a portrait using the finest of details in everyday events and confrontations With a surgeon’s skill Connell cuts away the middle class security blanket of uniformity to expose the arrested development underneath the entropy of time and relationships lead Mrs Bridge's th If you’re like me there may be certain privileged disenchanted types you feel like telling “Get a real problem” I thought for a while Mrs Bridge would ualify for that kind of reproach She had a comfortable life at a time when many did not she had few responsibilities and the status uo such as she perceived it suited her fine Whence the angst then? Reading on we see from where very clearly I was no longer tempted to say her problems weren’t real Thanks to Connell’s many revealing vignettes everything about her rang trueMrs Bridge and her husband a successful lawyer who worked long hours at the office lived in Kansas City with their two daughters and younger son The time period covered the twenties up to WWII During much of this time of course the country was in The Great Depression but you wouldn’t know it by them Her Lincoln laundry kitchen and home were well tended At first I viewed her as a kind of numeraire a God fearing Midwestern middlebrow against whom the differing attitudes of the day and uirks of other characters could be measured Then as tiles in the mosaic were put in place 117 short chapters I found that her own nuanced profile had emerged It wasn’t always one we could admire but it was one we could understand She was a recognizable product of human nature and the timesThere are so many examples of Connell’s brilliant character bites that it’s difficult to come up with a representative few that can illustrate These tidbits did not constitute a plot but they were interesting enough in their own right to keep the narrative lively Characters other than Mrs Bridge were profiled too including her family servants and friends We’re reminded of the state of race relations “knowing one’s place” in essence and the role of many housewives in the pre feminist era deferring to the husband in most every way Mrs Bridge was the most fully drawn of course Mr Bridge got his chance in a follow up book Connell published 10 years later She was » not one to speak her mind if it could be construed as poor manners to do so» a careful student of appearances» innately suspicious of change» friends with a woman who liked arts and books but could never seem to follow through with her own self improvements Spanish lessons curtailed after chapter 1 her short lived political awareness campaign yielded the way to Mr Bridge’s pronouncements and books were often abandoned» progressively less successful imparting her old values to the new generation of BridgesWhile it was not always easy to like Mrs Bridge it was no leap at all to feel sorry for her As her children grew independent she had very little to do Companionship from her husband was minimal And the purposelessness she felt really stung To sum it all up Connell’s last short chapter presented the perfect ending view spoilerMrs Bridge was pulling her Lincoln out of the garage when the engine died Her door was right up against the side of the garage and the other doors were obstructed too She was trapped with no clue of how to get out Would anyone hear her cries for help? If so when? hide spoiler
doc Mrs Bridge
Mrs BridgeRee children and husband to recede into a remote silence and she herself drifts further into doubt and confusion The raised evening newspaper becomes almost a fire screen to deflect any possible spark of conversation The novel is comprised of vignettes images fragments of conversations events all building powerfully toward the completed gro This is absolutely the funniest book I have read in ages The humor lies primarily in the prose but what the characters do is funny too The humor is satirical but never nasty The characters are kind and yet at the same time they remain absolutely real To be able to draw characters that readers will like and are true to life takes talent Keep in mind though that nice people are not spared life’s difficultiesThe ending is utterly superb It will surprise you too How in the world did the author think up this? I was completely caught off guard A message is conveyed that speaks volumesThe author’s words are sparse The text is not wordy Each word is perfect and absolutely right Both what the characters say and what they do are pitch perfect If you appreciate realism this is a book for youThere are many many short chapters Each chapter makes a statement and each chapter flows fluidly into the next The effect is a string of clever statements one after the other They flow together and give you a story Then you reach the end and the message smacks you in the face I am trying to describe the flow the feel of the story It is not ordinary It is different It is uniue There is not a hint of melodramaMaybe just maybe this book will speak first and foremost to baby boomers Do you remember expressions such as these? And your father is going to hear about this I gotta express my personality I am at the end of my rope And that is final I mean business I have only a split secondWait till you meet Grace Baron who reflects and then says The orbit is so small You must read the book to discover her fate and what happens to India and Walter Bridge and their three children Ruth Caroline and Douglas Those searching for books that mirror how kids behave will love this bookSally Darling narrates the audiobook version Her narration cannot be given anything but five stars It is perfect stunning fabulous She reads slowly pausing letting you know that what is said has two meanings and the important one is the one implied She is saying pay attention don’t miss the humor don’t miss the significance of what is said She uses different intonations for different characters Each intonation captures perfectly that person’s personality If you ever listen to audiobooks listen to this Don’t read itIn 1969 Mr Bridge was published a decade after Mrs Bridge In both books we follow the two Bridges and their three kids This is an upper middle class family living in Kansas City during the 1930s and through the war He is lawyer she is a stay at home mom We watch the kids grow up and we observe the change in family dynamics as the years pass In the first book we see these years through her eyes and in the second through his Mrs Bridge is not a book about the war years It is a book about family and being a mom and raising kids and finding a place in the world when the kids have goneI threw away all my reading plans The minute I completed Mrs Bridge I had to immediately begin Mr Bridge This is not normal behavior for me and it shows you how much I enjoyed this book Now I am wondering will Mr Bridge be as good?