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Mrs. Bridge by Evan S. Connell
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Mrs. Bridge (1959)

by Evan S. Connell

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Bridges (1)

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» See also 95 mentions

English (28)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (30)
Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
All I can say, is how stifled wives were in the mid-20th century. I enjoyed the short stories about her life. There was no plot and that seemed to be the story of wealthy women’s lives. You were there to showcase your husband, and your thoughts and wishes weren’t important. Connell captured the times so well. ( )
  brangwinn | Jan 28, 2019 |
Although this novel (really more of a series of vignettes) was published in 1959, it really feels so fresh. I actually enjoyed the lack of a real plot - it emulated every day life better than any other book I've read, even though my life hardly resembles that of a 1930s-40s housewife. Really great read. ( )
  Katie_Roscher | Jan 18, 2019 |
In some respects this is just domestic comedy - a woman in the mid-west marries, has kids, interacts with her friends, feel discontented, grows old.

But it's so much more than that, with the lovely grace notes of Cornell's writing at its best.

Mrs. Bridge - and her first name is "India" which hints at the exotic and strange - lives her life and accepts it. She's sort of a female Bartleby the Scrivener. She goes to her husband for sex (and love?) and doesn't get it - and accepts that love sometimes means being disappointed.

She sees her son building a tower in the vacant lot next door and watches - and watches -- and then quietly arranges to have it knocked down. But never talks to him about it. Communication is not her best thing.

Her little daughter can play with the smarty pants little black girl but only when both children are . . . little.

What does Frost say? "(S)He will not go behind (her) father's sayings" Mrs. Bridge is a little bit like that. But her awareness of her limitations -- which comes and goes - makes her an almost tragic figure.

There is a companion piece Mr. Bridge but it seems to be just an addendum. Mrs. B is the real deal.

Lovely and unforgettable ( )
  magicians_nephew | Jun 6, 2018 |
We met to discuss [Mrs. Bridge] yesterday, and it was a very satisfying conversation. Most of us (numbering about 15) liked the book very much, and we immediately began talking about our mothers or grandmothers, and how the need to conform so pervaded some of these women's lives. This is a portrait of a culture that is not really gone, even now, although the generalization may be fragmented. We all have our cohorts, whether religious, social, geographic, racial, or class, and each cohort has a certain amount of unspoken norms dangerous to transgress. Mrs. Bridge, of course, cannot step out of her cohort. Each time she initiates an individual action, however mild, she pulls back. Poor lady. She has exactly what she wanted, and that's the problem.

The language and style is wonderfully spare, and the reader (or listener, in my case) can look into the episodes of her life through a one-way mirror of crystalline description. Nothing happens except a life, and it's mesmerizing. ( )
  ffortsa | Apr 4, 2018 |
This is a beautiful, heartbreaking, and understated character study of a country-club wife in the early 20th century--of a woman dedicated to outward appearances, to decency and propriety, to doing what is expected. And all the while you get the suffocating sense of a person who's becoming more and more lost and empty, trapped in the silences that mark her days. It's told in a series of short chapters--short vignettes, really--and the effect is one that builds layer upon fine layer, like fine brush strokes upon a canvas.

The opening paragraph is a wonderful little example of those small revealing moments that mark this book:

"Her first name was India--she was never able to get used to it. It seemed to her that her parents must have been thinking of someone else when they named her. Or were they hoping for another sort of daughter? As a child she was often on the point of inquiring, but time passed, and she never did."
( )
  MichaelBarsa | Dec 17, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Evan S. Connellprimary authorall editionscalculated
Ferris, JoshuaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Barbara and Matthew Zimmerman
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Her first name was India - she was never able to get used to it.
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Her first name was India - she was never able to get used to it. It seemed to her that her parents must have been thinking of someone else when they named her. Or were they hoping for another sort of daughter? As a child she was often on the point of inquiring, but time passed, and she never did.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0865470561, Paperback)

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 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 brushstrokes and short, telling vignettes.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:14 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

The wife of a successful lawyer in 1930s Kansas City, India Bridge, tries to cope with her dissastisfaction with an easy, though empty, life.

» see all 2 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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