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The House at Otowi Bridge: The Story of Edith Warner and Los Alamos
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The House at Otowi Bridge: The Story of Edith Warner and Los Alamos

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  250 ratings  ·  59 reviews
This is the story of Edith Warner, who lived for more than twenty years as a neighbor to the Indians of San Ildefonso Pueblo, near Los Alamos, New Mexico. She was a remarkable woman, a friend to everyone who knew her, from her Indian companion Tilano, who was an elder of San Ildefonso, to Niels Bohr, Robert Oppenheimer, and the other atomic scientists who worked at Los Ala ...more
Paperback, 159 pages
Published May 1st 1973 by University of New Mexico Press
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3.96  · 
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 ·  250 ratings  ·  59 reviews


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Lorna
The House at Otowi Bridge: The Story of Edith Warner and Los Alamos was a dual memoir by author Peggy Pond Church, not only of her early childhood experiences of the high Pajarito Plateau where her father founded the Los Alamos School for Boys, but the memoir of Edith Warner who witnessed the changes coming to this beautiful and remote part of the country.

"The Pajarito Plateau opens like a huge fan from an arc of blue mountains in northwestern New Mexico. From a distance, it looks almost level,
...more
Sharman Russell
May 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I entered into the spirit of this book because the spirit of this book seemed to reflect so much my life and goals here in the Gila Valley of New Mexico. Like Edith Warner, I find the sacred in landscape, and I try and fail to live up to this "largeness" everyday. I liked, too, that Peggy Pond Church's understanding of Edith Warner was so kaleidoscopic and so limited. This felt real. We were looking at a photo album. We were given glimpses of a life. Los Alamos, of course, is iconic: the birth o ...more
Paul
May 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Paul by: Tom T.
I read this book in preparation for my fifth journey to New Mexico. I knew I would be visiting Los Alamos and the San Ildefonso pueblo during this trip, so I thought this would be a great way to prepare my mind and attitude. But it was more than I expected.

Not only was I carried back to a semi-familiar terrain, I was also returned to a time when life was simpler but growing inevitably more complicated. Edith Warner, who lived the adopted life of a Native American on the San Ildefonso reservation
...more
Holly Lindquist
Mar 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Beautifully written little book about a quiet woman who lived in a house by the side of the road to Los Alamos during the development of the atomic bomb. Great minds like Oppenheimer and Niels Bohr came to her tearoom for respite from the world-changing project they were working on "up the hill". Indians from the local pueblo invited her to their sacred ceremonies and family gatherings, recognizing her deep and abiding spiritual connection with their desert. She didn't climb any mountains, fight ...more
Jody
Dec 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Gorgeously written biography Edith Warner, neighbor of the San Ildefonso Pueblo and Los Alamos in the era when the atomic bomb was being developed. Warner became a friend to the scientists and their families who lived there, and her home became a place where cultures as well as people met.

The author received a 1959 Longview Literary Award for the original stories which appeared in New Mexico Quarterly, and the prose is beautiful. The story of this ordinary "spinster" fascinates. Highly recommen
...more
Mary
Jul 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Lyrical beyond imagination! Author Peggy Pond Church, a poet, writes about Edith Warner who herself uses words like a paintbrush. I loved this book and was moved many times by the words and images of New Mexico, the little house at Otowi bridge adjacent to the Pueblo, and Edith.
eleventeen
Nov 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Lovely. Slow start but a wonderful slice of life in less technological times. bits of culture and science, some passages that were simply beautifully written, or written in a way that was unexpected and different. An artist vs. a narrator.
Marcia
Nov 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Quite a gem of a book ... gently & lovingly told true life story of a troubled soul of a woman who seeks & finds solace in the rugged conditions of 1920’s New Mexico, the people of San Idelfonso Pueblo & even the conflicted scientists working on “something important” at nearby Los Alamos. The author has bonafide cred as she lived there herself & knew the area & characters.
Patrick Gibson
Jan 17, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people who like folk history
The one lane suspension bridge is still there a few hundred yards from the steel and concrete monster built in the 1950’s. Alas, Edith Warner’s house has melted into the Pueblo landscape and off limits to all but the natives. You can still tread that little spot of sacred ground if you risk an arrow or tomahawk (okay, I’m kidding—they’d just shoot you).

I have met people who knew Edith. Some of the folks who worked on the Manhattan Project still live around Santa Fe (unlike the workers today at L
...more
Erin
Feb 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
We read this book as part of the Jemez Public Library book club. Our proximity to Los Alamos made this a very personal read about an exceptional woman in an exceptional time. To live a life as Edith did - struggling to make ends meet, learning to live with the seasonal challenges of harvests and water, befriending the men, women and children from the pueblo - is certainly in sharp contrast to the kind of struggles the scientists were wrestling with just up the hill. Something about these two wor ...more
Julie
This is one of my all time favorite books. Having spent a good amount of time in this area and imagined living simply on the land like Edith Warner did, her story sings to my soul. Her shy strength of character, her sharp, intuitive mind, her peaceful listening and her respect for those she encountered endeared her to her diverse neighbors in this beautiful remote area. She was an exceptional woman who lived a remarkable life. I am so very glad that Peggy Pond Church knew her, and grateful that ...more
Doug
Sep 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful gift of history, perspective, poetry and philosophy. Edith Warner is my great aunt. I have wonderful memories of her sisters, Aunts Vel and Dib. My brother gave each of my children a copy last year. Our knowledge and love of this amazing woman will always be cherished as will the love Ms. Church showed her and her legacy.
Barrett
Feb 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
What a surprising and lovely book - the descriptions of the Los Alamos area and the lonely, beautiful lives of the biographer and her subject were satisfying and refreshing. For some reason, I had expected the book to be dry, but it was interesting, well-paced, thoughtful, and resonating.
Nancy Ambrosiano
Feb 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
A lovely, thoughtful book that will mean the most to those who live in this unique region of New Mexico and understand the grandeur of the native land, the mysterious lure it has for us, and the complexity of life where Anglo, Norteno, and Pueblo cultures meet.
Eskay Wolfersperger
Jan 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Barrett, Mike,
A sensitive book about the time before, during, and after the building of Los Alamos. A personal memoir about Edith Warner by a younger friend of hers. An eye-opening book about San Ildefonso Pueblo
Ngdecker
Jan 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-club
The writing was almost poetic and I loved the descriptions of the landscapes of New Mexico. The history was fascinating. I read this for my book club and was really glad I had done so.
John Mccullough
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a Western classic about an Easterner and written by a Westerner. Edith Warner, ill for several reasons and exhausted, turns to a New Mexico “ranch” for recuperation and falls in love with the region. After several years her parents’ wealth is exhausted and Edith must fend for herself. At the end of her rope, at a hotel she resides in she meets A. J. Connell who is desperate to find someone to take over a station in the middle of nowhere (Otowi Bridge) to take in goods unloaded from an oc ...more
Nancy Groves
Jul 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is considered a classic of New Mexico literature. It was published in 1959 and is the story of a young Pennsylvania woman who arrived in New Mexico, near the town (much smaller then) of Los Alamos, having picked New Mexico more or less randomly as the location to recover from a breakdown, then lived for more than 20 years in a small house near the Rio Grande River, operating a small store and tearoom, befriending members of the neighboring San Ildenfonso Pueblo and, later, the scientis ...more
Brook Packard
Dec 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Edith Warner's life is a touchstone for difficult times. She lived as a true neighbor to those in San Ildefonso Pueblo, respecting their traditions and practices. Her home offered solace without judgment for the families of the scientists working at Los Alamos to create a weapon of unthinkable destruction. This little book offers insights as to how we might better live together.
David
Aug 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A beautifully written and lyrical book -- set amidst the grandeur of the sacred mesas, hills, canyons, and arroyos of north-central New Mexico -- about the human spirit, perseverance, simple priorities, the power of nature, the significance of community, and the importance of the preservation of the Pueblo culture and environment amidst the encroachment of modernity and civilization.
Joan
Jul 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Interesting book about a woman from Pennsylvania who went to New Mexico for health and stayed the rest of her life. She ran a very small inn near Los Alamos and was friendly with both the Indians and later the physicists. Great descriptions of the area
Nancy Schluntz
Jul 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is clearly written, consistent in storytelling, and speaks with sensitivity and integrity. It gives insight into culture in New Mexico at a time of change. I read a borrowed copy, liked it so much I bought my own copy and also one to give as a gift!
Susan
Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a sweet, thoughtful book about the life of Edith Warner. She moved to a small house near the San Ildefonso pueblo that was by the Los Alamos Ranch School.
J.K. George
Jun 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2008-books
A wonderful, warm, personal story of a teacher in a native-American land. Very well done. You feel that you are there.
Jennifer Stewart
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this personal account of one woman's life and relationships in a specific and beloved place.
Mary Mann
Dec 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting

To many names of Indians to remember
We’re Edith and Tilano ever lovers ?
Book club agreed it was an interesting read
Cory Sudduth
Beautiful Like a Poem

Ediths outlook on life has reminded me to see the beauty in every day. I wish there was more to her story. I will probably make her cake recipe.
Jan Vanderburg
Nov 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
An historical fiction novel that was quiet and engaging and reminded me to slow down and tune in to our beautiful New Mexico.
Suzanne
Oct 29, 2018 rated it liked it
A pleasant little book about a wild, remote part of New Mexico, and the changes that happened when Los Alamos was built and the atomic bomb developed.

I found this in a used book shop in Fort Worth when I was in town for a long weekend and looking for a good book for the flight home,
Gypsy Lady
Sep 20, 2012 rated it liked it
Book club selection. Published by the Uiversity of New Mexico Press.

Author praises Roland DIckey for his perceptive eye and the valiant use of his editorial scissors. Yet there are still an over abundance of similes and other edits that should have been made. For example, referring to the Scots people as Scotch.

Page 22
Over and over he must remind his people that the good of the village depends upon the strength and energy with which each man in his heart wills what is good.

Page 53
This morning
...more
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