Bridge of Sighs

Bridge of Sighs

Book - 2007
Average Rating:
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Random House, Inc.
Six years after the best-selling, Pulitzer Prize–winning Empire Falls, Richard Russo returns with a novel that expands even further his widely heralded achievement.

Louis Charles (“Lucy”) Lynch has spent all his sixty years in upstate Thomaston, New York, married to the same woman, Sarah, for forty of them, their son now a grown man. 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 and Sarah are also preparing for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Italy, where his oldest friend, a renowned painter, has exiled himself far from anything they’d known in childhood. 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 is classic Russo, coursing with small-town rhythms and the claims of family, yet it is brilliantly enlarged by an expatriate whose motivations and experiences—often contrary, sometimes not—prove every bit as mesmerizing as they resonate through these richly different lives. Here is a town, as well as a world, defined by magnificent and nearly devastating contradictions.

Baker & Taylor
After sixty years of living in the upstate New York town of Thomaston with his wife of forty years, indominable mother, and grown son, Louis Charles and his wife Sarah prepare for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Italy to visit his childhood friend, an artist who had fled his hometown many years earlier, where he hopes to come to terms with the secrets of small-town life and their individual fates. 200,000 first printing.

Blackwell North Amer
Louis Charles ("Lucy") Lynch has spent all his sixty years in upstate Thomaston, New York, married to the same woman, Sarah, for forty of them, their son now a grown man. 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, mat 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 and Sarah are also preparing for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Italy, where his oldest friend, a renowned painter, has exiled himself far from anything they'd known in childhood. 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.

Baker
& Taylor

After sixty years of living in the upstate New York town of Thomaston, Louis Charles and his wife of forty years, Sarah, prepare for a trip to Italy to visit Louis' childhood friend, an artist who had fled his hometown many years earlier.

Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2007
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780375414954
0375414959
Branch Call Number: Fiction Rus
Characteristics: 528 p. ; 24 cm

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g
Gilbertfield
Nov 04, 2016

Wow .... another marvelous Richard Russo book. Similar to Empire Falls, but read them both. This book is great.

m
modestgoddess
Mar 22, 2016

Wonderful Russo. A novel to sink into. Despite its length, I was disappointed when I got to the end - I had so enjoyed being immersed in the lives of these characters and their small town. Definitely a time commitment; definitely worth it. This is no Straight Man, no That Old Cape Magic; it's more like Empire Falls - Russo's observant eye reveals to us the intertwined and complicated lives of a cast of characters in a small New England town.

l
lukasevansherman
Sep 06, 2015

I've really liked Richard Russo's other novels and have been slowly working my way through his output. Earlier books like "The Risk Pool" and "Mohawk" seemed to emerge from the gritty, working class "dirty realism" school of writing, while his best known books "Empire Falls" and "Nobody's Fool" added a Dickensian quality to those settings. "Bridge of Sighs," like another recent Russo book, "The Old Cape Magic," will be familiar to readers of his work, but disappointing. "Cape" felt disjointed and hastily thrown together, while "Bridge of Sighs" feels long-winded and monotonous, something I've never thought of his books. The plot is the usual family saga set against the backdrop of a small, decaying New York town. But what was fresh and incisive in earlier books has become stale and formulaic. I'm also not sure if it's acceptable for a white writer to refer to a character as a "negro," even if it is set in a less racially enlightened era. At 642 pages, it's a drag to read. Sigh.

2
22950004930269
Mar 03, 2013

Loved Empire Falls and looked so forward to this book. What a disappointment - Russo repeated himself over and over. Almost packed it in at 150 pages then something would capture my interest and I would continue. The last 150 pages were the best. Will probably not read another one of his books.

smc01 Aug 11, 2008

The character development in this novel is wonderful. You come to genuinely care about them. It's one of those long novels that you hope won't end and feel sad when it does.

l
LVerv
Aug 06, 2008

One of the best reads this year. Worth the wait. This is an author I am going to watch.

c
Cabby
Feb 08, 2008

Amazon.ca top 25 books of 2007.

DueDate Jan 02, 2008

Wow! A good book for sharing and discussing. I sat for two days - reading straight through.

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