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Mrs. Bridge

(Mr. Bridge & Mrs. Bridge #1)

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  3,525 Ratings  ·  549 Reviews
Alternate-cover edition for ISBN 0865470561 / 9780865470569 can be found here

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

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
...more
Paperback, 246 pages
Published 1981 by North Point Press
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Zoeytron
Oct 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Zoeytron by: Michael Barsa
Shelves: public-library
Originally published in 1959, this quiet novel is set in Kansas City in the 1930's. The minutiae of everyday life, the ins and outs of the Bridge household, shown in bits and snippets. Mrs. Bridge is vaguely dissatisfied with her life, but can't really put her finger on why. Her husband and three children no longer seem to need her attention. In providing everything for her, it may be that Mr. Bridge has done her no favors. She is at loose ends more often than not.

Finely written, it is subtle, w
...more
Michael
Sep 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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 br ...more
Steve
Aug 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you’re like me, there may be certain privileged disenchanted types you feel like telling, “Get a real problem!” I thought for a while Mrs. Bridge would qualify for that kind of reproach. She had a comfortable life at a time when many did not, she had few responsibilities, and the status quo, such as she perceived it, suited her fine. Whence the angst, then? Reading on, we see from where very clearly. I was no longer tempted to say her problems weren’t real. Thanks to Connell’s many revealing ...more
Eric
Dec 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ficciones, favorites
What a patient and subtle novel! Mrs. Bridge, portrait of an upper-middle class matron in 1920s-30s-40s Kansas City, would be less effective if Connell’s satirical sense were cartoonish or caricatural, or if he had chosen to distance himself from the milieu of his own childhood with rounds of wordy denunciation. It is easy to caricature those who strive to be unerringly conventional--absolutely, unthreateningly recognizable to whatever peers they’re set among--as edgeless and dull, with a vast u ...more
Roberto

Un opprimente senso di attesa

All'inizio della tua vita qualcuno ti dà un nome. Poi qualcuno ti iscrive a una scuola. Poi all'età giusta una persona che ha caratteristiche giuste ti sposa; perché fanno tutti così ed è giusto che anche tu lo faccia. Vai a vivere in un luogo che altri hanno deciso e lì incontri amiche che frequentano tutte lo stesso ambiente.

Fai tre figli, che accudisci con molta attenzione, ricambiata poco o niente; hai anche spesso la sensazione che loro ti ritengano un peso, ti
...more
MJ Nicholls
A quietly devastating portrayal of a housewife shorn of all personality or free will, raising her typical kids in a typical Midwestern breadbasket under the aegis of her all-powerful husband (who has a sequel in which to express his own typicality). The effect is similar to the poetic melodrama of The Book of Disquiet, but with a more lightly mocking and tender-heartedly sympathetic tone, and less insufferable moaning posing as philosophical profundity. In under 200 canny pages this novel slowly ...more
Loederkoningin
I'm bewildered that none of you have even shelved this remarkable book, my friends!

I despair.;p

Each tiny chapter is brilliant in its simplicity, yet manages to paint a marvelous and merciless portrait of an American upper-class woman and her family in the 1930's. Suffocating, tragic, hilarious, and in essence still hauntingly relevant.

That's probably also where my vague sense of discomfort stems from. Mrs. Bridge lived in a time that perfectly excused the superficiality of her life, and her '
...more
Jessica
Feb 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
I can't for the life of me figure out what makes this novel so great, but damn it is great. I wish I knew why.

You might protest and cry, "Oh but I have already read so many novels about repressed twentieth-century housewives!" But that is like being offered a plate of chocolate chip cookies and saying, "No thank you. I've tried those before."

Chocolate chip cookies are delicious and aren't less so for being frequently baked. And anyway, you haven't had a cookie quite like this one before.

Told in
...more
Maureen
when i was in mcnally jackson on my last visit to new york, i dragged greg over to a table, asking him about Son of the Morning Star, the evan s. connell book i'd set out to read several years ago before stumbling upon this book, mrs. bridge, instead. i was concerned about the small font size in the morning star edition the store carried and wanted to know if b&n had a bigger-fonted one. when we returned to the book there was a man standing there looking at mrs. bridge, stationed just beside ...more
Laura لاورا
Oct 08, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook
“C’è qualcuno là fuori?"

Profondo è il senso di solitudine e d'impotenza dinanzi alla ineluttabilità del tempo che trasmette la storia di Mrs Bridge. Una storia, in verità, di ordinaria quotidianità, una come tante, ben lontana dai clamori e dai colpi di scena eclatanti. Senza infamia e senza lode, potremmo forse aggiungere.
Pubblicato negli Stati Uniti alla fine degli anni Cinquanta, il libro racconta, sullo sfondo dell’America dei decenni precedenti, la vicenda di una donna che da figlia diventa
...more
Diane
I loved every page of Mrs. Bridge. Evan Connell painted a picture of an upper-class wife in 1930s Kansas City, and he did it through a series of vignettes. Each short story makes the picture more complete, and we see how desperate Mrs. Bridge is to make her husband happy, to fit in with society and to instill good values in her children. She tries to be interested in news and politics, but admits it's so much easier to just ask her husband who to vote for. She doesn't like to attend loud parties ...more
Guille
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Leí esta novela en una edición que incluía también “Mr. Bridge” y a pesar de que diez años separan la escritura de ambas novelas y aunque las dos poseen entidad propia, recomiendo fervorosamente su lectura conjunta.

El primer aspecto que quiero resaltar es la habilidad del autor para construir un relato de 640 páginas sobre la vida de una normalita familia conservadora americana de los años 30 sin que ello nos resulte aburrido en ningún momento. En la novela no hay grandes acontecimientos, la vi
...more
Dolceluna
Sep 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mrs Bridge.
Moglie devota, madre premurosa e amorevole, irrepresibile donna di casa e amica fedele.
Una perfetta rappresentante della classe benestante americana degli anni '40, con una domestica fissa, una villa con giardino e una Lincoln che va e non va, un marito sempre troppo indaffarato, che soddisfa i suoi desideri materiali ma che poi "non c'è", tre figli che crescono e se ne vanno, le partite a golf, i party a casa di amici e i pettegolezzi del quartiere. E, sullo sfondo, lo scoppio della
...more
Mary
May 03, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 2016
Yet another book I’ve read this year where the female protagonist is alone in the end. A lifetime comes and goes, people move away or die, and there’s nothing to show for it. Why do I keep reading these books? My fears are showing.

Mrs. Bridge was a small woman in every way: compartmentalized, rigid, and afraid of almost everything. Her sheltered and empty life saunters leisurely through the decades and leads us to the final, almost perfect page. Absolute, helpless, terrifying aloneness. What a
...more
zumurruddu
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nord-america
Vita di una donna che si comporta sempre e invariabilmente come le convenzioni e “la convenienza” prescrivono; madre di tre figli, moglie fedele, devota e remissiva. Una donna che non sembra mai avere desideri propri, mai un guizzo di volontà, solo qualche vaga aspirazione, molto modesta, tipo imparare lo spagnolo, ampliare il proprio vocabolario, fare un corso di pittura. Non è una cattiva persona, la signora Bridge, mostra anche buoni sentimenti, quando si concede uno spiraglio, un lieve agio, ...more
flaminia
Mar 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
se avessi incontrato india bridge nella vita reale manco mi sarei accorta di lei, talmente è incolore e addirittura ialina.
per fortuna l'ho incontrata qui perché, nonostante il senso di claustrofobia, mi sono davvero affezionata a lei, alle sue malinconie, alle sue inquietudini, alle sue buone maniere, al suo intuire che c'è di più, pur non sapendo come raggiungerlo (o non osare farlo).
e nelle righe finali avrei dato qualunque cosa per essere lì vicino a quel garage e risponderle.
Negin
Jan 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book – my first 5-star read of 2016! I finished the last few pages sitting in the car while waiting for my son to buy lunch and was almost in tears. I came home and started telling my husband about it and then, of course, I was sobbing.

It’s a perfect read, impeccably written, and unique. The chapters are short and a pleasure to get through. They’re more like vignettes than chapters. Parts of it are funny, other parts are heartbreaking. It’s a perfectly observed story of an upper-mi
...more
Tatiana
May 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is why I have a job and read books. Being buried in and fixated on domesticity and propriety is just so damn soul-killing. I could have never made it as a 1930s housewife.

I wonder what Mr. Bridge is like.
Xenja
Sep 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Romanzo scritto nel '59 e appena ripubblicato da Einaudi, che non verte sui massimi sistemi, ma che si legge molto piacevolmente. La signora Bridge è “una vera gentildonna del Country Club”. Ricca, beneducata, signorile, di animo gentile e non priva di sensibilità - ma tanto, tanto sempliciotta. E quanto conformista! Le sue piccole avventure quotidiane (la casa, i figli, i domestici, le amiche, la chiesa, lo shopping, i ricevimenti; sempre impeccabile, con un fazzoletto ben stirato, i guanti di ...more
Ettore1207
Feb 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In 117 micro-capitoli velati di malinconia si racconta, quasi come in un diario, la vita di India Bridge nel Missouri durante la prima metà del '900. Una scrittura semplice ma incisiva fa emergere in mille sfumature i pensieri e i sentimenti della protagonista, una donna della "upper class" che conduce una vita all'insegna dei canoni della buona educazione e dell'etichetta dei tempi. Una vita agiata in cui non manca nulla, né il denaro né la famiglia né le amicizie, ma che alla fine le apparirà ...more
Loes Dissel
Dec 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
This novel consists of short, little stories, funny, sad and very sensitive about suburban life in the 1930s and about trying to be the perfect upper-middle-class housewife and mother.
Great book.
Anne
Jul 20, 2007 rated it it was amazing
If I had the power to bestow canonical status, I would do so for this quietly powerful book by Evan S. Connell. Mrs. Bridge is a collection of heartbreaking vignettes, glimpses into a Kansas City housewife's life (or what passes for one) in the 1920s-40s. Our title character is a member of the leisure class, a country-club matron and mother of three. Impeccably behaved and nearly dead inside, Mrs. Bridge longs to feel needed by her family, to elicit passion from her lawyer husband and win back h ...more
cristina c
Aug 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ma che bello questo libro! Ma che personaggio vivido questa Mrs Bridge!
Di quelli che ti rimangono in mente e che senti così veri che ci trovi somiglianze con la vicina di casa o la nuova conoscente; mi verrebbe quasi da paragonarla a una Emma o una Natasha ma l'accostamento potrebbe sembrare irriguardoso.
Eh sì perché Connel, che scrive questo straordinario libro quando ha circa 30 anni, non ha un posto al tavolo d'onore degli scrittori. Di lui si conosce ben poco altro ( un Mr Bridge, a distan
...more
Grazia
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Raggelante

Mrs Bridge. Moglie. Madre di tre figli. Signora benestante degli anni '40. Domestica fissa.
Marito che passa la vita al lavoro. Assente sia con la moglie che con la prole.
Mrs Bridge, che di non convenzionale, ha solo il nome proprio, India, rispetta le regole della upper class cui appartiene.

Forma. Apparenza. Regali costosi. Condizione sociale. Niente sembra importare alla signora Bridge se non il 'figurare bene', il conformismo.
Se non fosse quel sottile dubbio che si insinua. Soprattut
...more
Margaret
This is the saddest book I've ever read. This book makes King Lear look like a bedtime story.

What's remarkable is that nothing that sad ever happens in it-- no genocide, loss, hardly even any death. It's just this relentless collection of tiny moments in a life. It's a huge achievement of craft, and it would never, NEVER get published today.
Jessica
Oct 09, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels, classics
3.5 stars
Mosco
Aug 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All'inizio mi dicevo: ma questa è proprio un'oca! non ha idee sue, cerca sempre di compiacere l'interlocutore, perbenista, formalista e piena di pregiudizi, spalmata sulle idee del distratto marito. Invece mi ci sono quasi affezionata. Al suo disagio, ai dubbi, all'incapacità di stare al passo con la società che cambia, alla nostalgia per la vita che le è scivolata dalle dita: "In cosa ho sbagliato?".
Finale bellissimo, come bella tutta la sobria scrittura.

Piuttosto: gentili Einaudi, traduttric
...more
Frabe
Aug 18, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Questo ennesimo “tesoro dimenticato” della letteratura americana (sono un po' troppi, ultimamente) è un romanzo del 1959 abbastanza apprezzabile - ma senza troppa lode - incentrato su Mrs Bridge, una donna molto ligia alle convenzioni sociali raccontata dall'autore attraverso una sequela di piccoli episodi. A lei si adatta bene una definizione di Joseph Conrad tratta dal racconto “Tifone” e riportata en passant a pag. 197/198: è una di quelle “persone che scivolano sulla superficie dell'esistenz ...more
Becca Becca
Jul 14, 2007 rated it really liked it
It's amazing that Connell managed to write an entire book about the inner thoughts of a character who has absolutely no self-realized passion, dreams, thoughts, or desires...and that it's such a captivating and haunting novel.
Lisa
Sep 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Another annotation from the MFA/CW work at Goddard:

Tiny Bricks Build an Exquisite Structure: The Effects of Teensy Chapters in Evan S. Connell’s “Mrs. Bridge”

Writers use lots of words. Sometimes too many. What a contrast, what a pleasure and relief, to read the work of Evan S. Connell in “Mrs. Bridge,” built as it is with the tiniest of bricks -- microchapters of anything from a few paragraphs to a few pages, at most -- each of which is as exquisite as a good joke or a tight poem.
The format of t
...more
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Huntsville-Madiso...: Staff Pick - Mrs. Bridge by Evan Connell 1 4 Aug 21, 2016 12:45PM  
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Evan S. Connell, over the last half century, has published nineteen books of fiction, poetry, and essays, several of which—including the best-sellers Mrs. Bridge and Mr. Bridge, and the erudite, anecdotal, and totally unique nonfiction book Son of the Morning Star—are American classics. I've admired his work for many years, since first reading Diary of a Rapist, and was happy for a chance to inter ...more

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“ She was not certain what she wanted from life, or what to expect from it, for she had seen so little of it, but she was sure that in some way - because she willed it to be so - her wants and her expectations were the same.
For a while after their marriage she was in such demand that it was not unpleasant when he fell asleep. Presently, however, he began sleeping all night, and it was then she awoke more frequently, and looked into the darkness, wondering about the nature of men, doubtful of the future, until at last there came a night when she shook her husband awake and spoke of her own desire. Affably he placed one of his long white arms around her waist; she turned to him then, contentedly, expectantly, and secure. However, nothing else occurred, and in a few minutes he had gone back to sleep.
This was the night Mrs. Bridge concluded that while marriage might be an equitable affair, love itself was not.”
6 likes
“Her first name was India-she was never able to get used to it.” 5 likes
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