Mrs Bridge - Mr. Bridge & Mrs. Bridge, Bk 1 Author:Evan S. Connell Before Betty Friedan wrote The Feminine Mystique there was Mrs. Bridge, an inspired novel set in the years around World War II that testified to the sapping ennui of an unexamined suburban life. — India Bridge, the title character, has three children and a meticulous workaholic husband. She defends her dainty, untouched guest towels from... more » son Douglas, who has the gall to dry his hands on one, and earnestly attempts to control her daughters with pronouncements such as "Now see here, young lady ... in the morning one doesn't wear earrings that dangle."
Though her life is increasingly filled with leisure and plenty, she can't shuffle off vague feelings of dissatisfaction, confusion, and futility. Evan S. Connell, who also wrote the twinned novel Mr. Bridge, builds a world with tiny brush strokes and short, telling vignettes.« 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.