Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Bridge of Sighs

Author: Richard Russo

Summary: (goodreads) Louis Charles Lynch (also known as Lucy) is sixty years old and has lived in Thomaston, New York, his entire life. He and Sarah, his wife of forty years, are about to embark on a vacation to Italy. Lucy's oldest friend, once a rival for his wife's affection, leads a life in Venice far removed from Thomaston. Perhaps for this reason Lucy is writing the story of his town, his family, and his own life that makes up this rich and mesmerizing novel, interspersed with that of the native son who left so long ago and has never looked back.

Review: I actually chose this book for my AP English Lit class semester report, so it isn't YA, but it has lots of literary value and I really enjoyed it even so. I'm glad I am expanding my reading material a little more and that this was the book I read.

The book's narration was the most difficult thing to get used to because the story is told from three different points of view. The main character uses flashbacks to his childhood in the first person and then there are also present parts. Then there is another main character whose story is presented in the present but third person point of view. They are clearly marked for the most part and this type of arrangement adds depth to the book as a whole by keeping the reader interested in the 500+ pages of the book.

In a book this long, I would usually expect some really slow parts, but Bridge of Sighs stays interesting the entire way through. It keeps a nice pace, really going in depth and filled with details, but the writing is what keeps this book from causing me complete boredom. The summary really does the book an injustice. I really did sigh in exasperation when I read it because I couldn't figure out how an older man's story could possibly hold my attention since I am used to the werewolves, vampires and all the other adventurous books I've been so concentrated on.

It was a completely different book from what I would normally choose to read or review for that matter, but I don't regret it at all and have maybe learned to trust my teachers' judgments a tad bit more. Just a bit more.

I really recommend this book to YA lovers because of the huge parts in the past tense since they are from an adolescent's point of view, but beware that it is a bit long and has loads of information to process, so it should be read closely and not exactly devoured. I plan on reading another Russo book soon as well and hope you guys like this one if you decide to try it out!

Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

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