Bridge of Sighs

Bridge of Sighs

by Richard Russo
4.1 91

Paperback(Reprint)

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Overview

Bridge of Sighs by Richard Russo

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781400030903
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/12/2008
Series: Vintage Contemporaries Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 656
Sales rank: 268,736
Product dimensions: 7.98(w) x 5.24(h) x 1.04(d)

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.

Hometown:

Gloversville, New York

Date of Birth:

July 15, 1949

Place of Birth:

Johnstown, New York

Education:

B.A., University of Arizona, 1967; Ph.D., University of Arizona, 1979; M.F.A., University of Arizona, 1980

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Bridge of Sighs 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 91 reviews.
LCH47 More than 1 year ago
This is my favorite Russo book! I loved the characters and the way they relate to each other. "Bridge of Sighs" is a beautiful read of real characters struggling to make sense of the world they live in. His characters try to make the best of the cards they are dealt. There are a number of themes running throughout the book, but for me the main one is the question of which path to take in life? Do we really choose which path to take? Is regret inevitable regardless of which path we take? There will always be problems to solve, no matter. This is real life. Witty. Insightful. Exciting. I just loved it!!
SparkyNV More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. I hated to finish and leave behind characters that I had come to know and love. It brought back memories of my own childhood and the "characters" that inhabited that landscape. Russo has written eloquently about "telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth," and also about the secrets we withhold, even from ourselves. It's a character driven novel that moves simultaneously between past and present, as do we all in our own lives. It's about understanding where we've been and making peace with that and welcoming with open arms who we've become and where we're going. Russo has painted a rich canvas that he invites you to step into. For me, it was hard to resist.
Dotpixels More than 1 year ago
Richard Russo never fails to tell a story which invites you into the lives of characters who make you laugh and cry. Well developed story line, little twists and turns, a book to enjoy on all levels.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A complex and compelling story of Small Town America, told by Lou Lynch (Lucy) who, as the main character, is writing about his life. Throughout the story, which spans about 50 years, we meet Bobby, Sarah, Tessa, Dec, and many more family members and friends. Russo tells this tale with intelligence and detail and great insight into human behavior.
omnivoreRS More than 1 year ago
Richard Russo returns to the small, declining northeastern towns he customarily chronicles to reveal the moving and complex emotional lives of two generations of two apparently ordinary families. The situations in which he places his characters are neither highly dramatic nor unusual, but he freights them with feelings that are all the more intense for being so recognizable. The plot is complex and the switches between narrative foci and time frames make for some initial confusion, but as the story unfolds all is clarified. The characters are fully drawn and we are drawn to them, seeing in their dilemmas many of our own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really liked Empire Falls and was excited to read this book. While Russo is a terrific writer and I liked the book, I was left somewhat disappointed at the end. I am not sure I can accurately articulate why. I feel like the story was building up to a big climax that never really happened - and because of that, we never really got to know 2 of the 3 main characters as well as we should have. Put another way, even though the book was 600+ pages long, it feels like at the end Russo rushed to finish it with and didn't give as much thought to tying up the story as he did to the earlier sections - the ending almost feels like a completely different style than the rest of the book. And maybe that's what left me disappointed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Reading Bridge of Sighs by Richard Russo is like being handed a piece of really wonderful chocolate, it is to be savored. Like all of Russo's novels this book is about small town life. The characters are normal and deeply flawed at the same time. The are peaks and valleys in this novel to be sure, but the end result is the same. When you are finished with this story, the characters will stay with you for a long while.
Guest More than 1 year ago
But so what? Each book, within its covers, is its own individual and to make comparisons like some reviewers are doing here, seems unfair. Yes, another book about small town America and maybe we've seen these characters before because we simply recognize ourselves in them and let's face it, most readers read to escape from themselves and their lives. Even in this regard, one cannot fairly put this book aside as 'just another' ... Mr Russo with his amazing literary talent has spewed pages and pages full of a beautiful story through magnificent and eloquent prose so much so that even a very short sentence makes you stop and ponder. That's why I loved this work. Richard Russo is an absolutely extraordinary story teller and I could not put Bridge of Sighs down until the very end. Amazing! I'm giving Bridge of Sighs 5 stars.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I procrastinated to a great extent reading the last 200 pages, because I was so reluctant to let it go. This is a beautiful novel. To me, it's the great american novel, I loved it soooo much! The writing is simply gorgeous. . . kept me completely enthralled. This book is a very important one and I wish I could get everyone I know to read it, I'll certainly give it my best shot! I have read everything Mr. Russo has written, and loved them all. I very eagerly awaited this one and was by no means whatsoever disappointed, in fact, it was better than I could hope for! Kudos to you Mr. Russo, you continue to amaze me with your talent.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wonderful in it's simplicity. How Russo tells a tale of family, friends, love and life with such depth... The town is Every Town, the people are Everyone and the themes are universal. But in his telling the story truly breathes. Loved the book...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
 
jstarr More than 1 year ago
I have enjoyed all of the Russo books, but this one seemed like a long journey that never led to anywhere. True, you can't beat the beauty of his writing, which is unmatched in my opinion. I, however, found the ending just didn't fulfill the over 600 pages to get there. If you are entertained by reading about ordinary lives that stay ordinary (which I suppose is as most of us live), it may be a long and satisfying read . . .but, for me this seemed like a long journey that just ran out of gas.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A beautifully written book about getting older, marriage, an everything in between.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What craftsmanship! So many characters living the present, while revealing their past. Not a story of dysfunctional personalities but rather ordinary personalities with both strengths and weaknesses.
SanAntonioRose More than 1 year ago
A beautiful story! I was drawn to the characters as my own family members and hated to give them up when the story ended. I loved the bits of humor woven into the storyline and the consister reminder to love and accept people as they are (a principle we can apply in our own lives). I guess I can say I came away from reading this book feeling encouraged and better about life in general. The strong language in some parts kept me from giving it a five star rating.
Maximillian More than 1 year ago
Honestly, I have tried other books by this acclaimed author, but I could not get into them. For some reason, this one clicked for me. He is a good author; I read and reread some of his sentences, then read them out loud. I highly recommend this book.
piesmom More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed 'Mystic Falls' very much but I loved 'Bridge of Sighs.' My favorite novels have believable characters that seem like people you know but the writing offers exceptional insight about their lives. This novel is all about what you have and haven't done with your life and then living with the consequences. I read this novel several months ago but I think about its message often. There are so many passsages that state so eloquently thoughts I could never express as well myself.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Russo has spun an amazing story, one with twists and turns between the present and the past. While it takes a while to make connections, especially between the plot and the title, the finely woven sub-plots all come together to transport the reader over the Bridge. The cover, dove-tailing two distinct photos, is a link to the characters' sighs, reminding us that despite how much we want or try, our past is forever bridged to our present.
SuperMomof4 More than 1 year ago
It is a rare book that can leave me unsure about whether or not I liked it. The style was quite accessible, yet disjointed. The characters were generally likable, yet showed little development over the course of 500 pages. The plot was generally unclear as the author jumped back and forth between characters, flashbacks, and references to events that may have already been covered, may yet be covered, and may not be genuinely discussed at all. The book contains some profanity and racial slurs. It was certainly not a stinker of a book, but I expected something more.
hctrah More than 1 year ago
This is the first book of Richard Russo that I have read. I heard rave reviews from people that I share an interest in books I had high expectations. To tell the truth I started to read back in fall but could not get into the book. I put it down with the thought that it was just me and not the best time to start a new book. Sure enough ...I picked it up again two weeks ago and could not put it down. I loved the characters and the slow build. It was like a John Irving character similar to Owen Meany. The period it covered closely mirrored parts of my childhood and adulthood. I did become immersed in the family and the drama and heartache. Just when I was ready to deal with the story coming to some conclusions....it didn't. Very poor ending given how much you invest. Never saw it coming an so completely not believable. I just kept thinking "he doesn't know how to end this". Thankfully in the last few pages he takes a leap and somewhat ends it but too late for me. I would give him another chance though because I do like his writing style.
Honeydew2 More than 1 year ago
While I enjoyed this book and the writer's style of writing, I thought it was just too long and in some parts thought it was tedious. I could relate to the characters, however, as I remember many of them from my preteen and teen years. Overall, I enjoyed the book.
rs614 More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed this book...liked the way the characters wrapped together.
AnitaLee More than 1 year ago
I am about half way through this book. I am already thinking "What will I do when I can't visit these wonderful people everyday!" They have become almost like family and the writing is easy to read - very enjoyable! I can't wait to read something else by Russo.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book had me by the throat, but it seemed like he all of a sudden just wanted to wrap the thing up and be done with it. Disappointing, especially after Mohawk, which I thought was absolutely incredible--but I give this one 4 stars because up to the last couple chapters it was fantastic.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have always loved Russo's work - his best, by far is Straight Man... however, this effort definitely fell short. His main character Lucy/Lou does nothing to engender connection with the reader... he is a whiner, who cannot face reality nor understand even the simplest logic. It becomes quite annoying. I kept waiting for this fundamental flaw to change. If the intent was for the reader to sympathize with Lou and/or Big Lou, that effect was lost. This was not up to Russo's usual standards - if you have not yet read Straigh Man - DO SO - that novel is sharp, witty, and worthy of your time!