Monday, August 04, 2008

BRIDGE OF SIGHS by Richard Russo

Russo is considered one of the finest contemporary American novelists who has accomplished with small town America and its locals what Alice Munro has achieved with her stories set in southwestern Ontario. His characters are so real, they could be your neighbours.

The story is Louis C. Lynch's to tell as he attempts to write a history of his hometown and his own life. He has spent all of his sixty years in Thomaston, New York, where he has remained an optimist like his father before him who established a little empire of convenience stores on the right side of the tracks. "Lucy" is married to Sarah Berg, a one-time visual artist who studied in NYC, who is generous of spirit and kind of heart and a recent cancer survivor. They are planning a trip to Venice where Lucy's oldest friend from boyhood is now a renowned painter.

That painter friend, Robert Noonan, has remade himself in Italy and it is his connection to both "Lucy" and Sarah, independent of each other, that reveals truths about everyone.

BRIDGE OF SIGHS is a magnificent read.

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