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Customer Review

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Her first name was India', 18 Jun. 2012
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This review is from: Mrs Bridge (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
Mrs Bridge is a housewife in the country-club district of Kansas City, Missouri. She hardly sees her husband who works long hours so that she can spend her days in 'exquisite idleness' - an idleness which threatens to drive her insane. Mrs Bridge is very much a product of her time: she has free time but no freedom, she is afraid to depart from a pleasant but bland demeanour, and she is just as much constrained by her own ignorance and lack of imagination as by the social structures of the thirties and forties.

Connell's narrative is ironic and disingenuous. In 117 very short chapters we are presented with episodes in Mrs Bridges's life, sometimes funny in their banality, sometimes biting in their social observations which are uneditorialized but unforgiving. There is the danger that the reader ends up smugly mocking Mrs Bridge, but Connell allows us to pity her to the point where this becomes a deeply sad and rather frightening book.

Mr Bridge remains in the background, only sometimes tantalizingly coming to the fore. Connell wrote a companion novel "Mr Bridge" which is soon to be published in Penguin Modern Classics: I can't wait to see the same decades through his eyes. Meanwhile this Penguin Modern Classic comes with an excellent introduction by Joshua Ferris.
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Review Details

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Reviewer

Eleanor
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   

Location: Oxford, England

Top Reviewer Ranking: 858