Bridge of Sighs (Vintage Contemporaries) (Paperback)
Fall '08/Winter '09 Reading Group List
“Like some of the best, most compelling works of fiction, sense of place is a character in Russo's Bridge of Sighs. Bridges in upstate New York and, more famously, in Venice set the stage for this rich, fascinating story of families, friends, coming of age, and late-in-life hardships. Book groups will eagerly digest the ordinary details, plus discuss the extraordinary circumstances of real life -- wonderful!”
— Kathleen Dixon, Islandtime Books & More, Washington Island, WI
This moving novel follows Louis Charles Lynch ("Lucy") as he and his wife of forty years are about to embark on a vacation to Italy. Lucy is sixty years old and has spent his entire life in Thomaston, New York. Like his late, beloved father, Lucy is an optimist, though he's had plenty of reasons not to be--chief among them his mother, still indomitably alive. Yet it was her shrewdness, combined with that Lynch optimism, that had propelled them years ago to the right side of the tracks and created an "empire" of convenience stores about to be passed on to the next generation. Lucy's oldest friend, once a rival for his wife's affection, leads a life in Venice far removed from Thomaston. In fact, the exact nature of their friendship is one of the many mysteries Lucy hopes to untangle in the "history" he's writing of his hometown and family. And with his story interspersed with that of Noonan, the native son who'd fled so long ago, the destinies building up around both of them (and Sarah, too) are relentless, constantly surprising, and utterly revealing. Bridge of Sighs, from the beloved Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Empire Falls, is a moving novel about small-town America that expands Russo's widely heralded achievement in ways both familiar and astonishing.
About the Author
Richard Russo is the author of eight novels; two collections of stories; and Elsewhere, a memoir. In 2002 he received the Pulitzer Prize for Empire Falls, which like Nobody's Fool was adapted to film, in a multiple-award-winning HBO miniseries.
"A magnificent, bighearted new novel [and] an astounding achievement. . . . A masterpiece." —The Boston Globe"A story of constantly evolving complexity and depth. . . . [Bridge of Sighs is] Russo's most intricate, multifaceted novel . . . enormous and enormously moving."—The Washington Post Book World"A novel of great warmth, charm and intimacy . . . richly evocative and beautifully wrought."—The New York Times"[Russo's] most ambitious and best work."—USA Today