Mrs Bridge Author:Evan S. Connell, Jr. Best-selling author Evan S. Connell is expert at sketching the banalities and trivialities of middle-class values, customs, and habits. Like Mr. Bridge, its counterpart, Mrs. Bridge is comprised of over one hundred titled chapters, containing vignettes, an image, a fragment of conversation, an event-all building powerfully toward the completed g... more »roup portrait of a family, closely knit on the surface but deeply divided beneath by loneliness, boredom, misunderstandings, isolation, sexual longing, and terminal alienation. With a surgeon's skill Connell cuts away the middle-class security blanket of uniformity to expose the arrested development beneath. Mrs. Bridge recedes more and more into doubt and confusion as her three children and husband become more remote and silent. The raised evening newspaper becomes almost a fire screen to deflect any possible spark of conversation. A fly caught unawares in amber for eternity is no more immobilized and exposed than Mrs. Bridge, trapped in her garage as her novel ends.« less
This was like going back in time, and not all the way back to the 40s and 50s of the story, but even just to my own childhood where my mother wore a cocktail dress in the afternoon and my father mixed martinis. This book brought back so many memories--like the days of local society pages that talked about people in one's own city who "seen about town" or "vacationed with the family" in some exotic place like Aspen. A time when boys got into "scuffles" instead of drive-bys. Connell managed to portray the good of that era while laying bare its sexism and racism. Mrs. Bridge is a sympathetic character despite herself. Also, I liked the vignette format. It was fresh.