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The Bridge Ladies: A Memoir (Hardback)
  • The Bridge Ladies: A Memoir (Hardback)
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The Bridge Ladies: A Memoir (Hardback)

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£18.99
Hardback 320 Pages / Published: 05/05/2016
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For the past fifty years, Monday afternoons in New Haven have always been the same: Roz, Rhoda, Bea, Jackie and Bette - the Bridge Ladies. A card table with four folding chairs (and one dummy seat). A plate of homemade cookies or brownies on the kitchen counter somewhere, largely untouched. And once they begin the game, hours of silence, punctuated only by the sound of cards being plucked up or snapped down.
As a child, Betsy Lerner thought the Bridge Ladies were fascinatingly chic, with their frosted hair-dos and shiny nylons. To the teenage Betsy, they seemed hopelessly square. As an adult, working in New York City, they were a relic of her past. But when her husband accepted a job in New Haven, she found herself right back where she started.

Suddenly, the Bridge Ladies came hurtling back, their Monday lunch and Bridge Club still ongoing. They had accepted their lot in life and were, mostly, grateful. They didn't talk about their problems, much less those involving sex, relationships, or their children. On paper, they were unremarkable, even dull. But once Betsy started really looking at them, she realized that they were anything but.

Wildly perceptive and, in turns, hilarious and fearlessly vulnerable, Lerner's memoir is required reading for anyone who has ever had a mother. And it teaches us an important lesson: Facebook may connect us across the world, but social media can't deliver a pot roast and it won't dry your tears.

Publisher: Pan Macmillan
ISBN: 9781447272519
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 555 g
Dimensions: 242 x 160 x 29 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Through the alchemy of a grand game, Betsy Lerner has woven a universal coming of age story for both mother and daughter. A poignant, humorous and often painful struggle through the pageantry of playing cards; a woman's face on every one. -- Patti Smith, author of Just Kids and M Train
This is the best book about mothers and daughters I've read in decades, maybe ever. I just loved it, related to it viscerally, kept calling up my daughters to read passages aloud to them. It's about - in addition to bridge of course - mother-daughter conflict, the desire to love and be loved, aging and loss, discovery and renewal. Betsy Lerner is a beautiful, achingly honest writer, and The Bridge Ladies is at once heartbreaking and hilarious, uplifting and profound -- Amy Chua, Yale Law Professor and author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother and The Triple Package
The Bridge Ladies reminded me of Tuesdays With Morrie, except that it takes place on Mondays and it has five Morries. In this exquisitely written book, there's humor, candor, no-nonsense wisdom - and portraits of five women whose like we won't see again. I devoured it in one greedy sitting, and started re-reading as soon as I finished. -- Will Schwalbe, author of The End of Your Life Book Club
Betsy Lerner's ladies--her Rozs and Rhodas, Bettes, Beas and Jackies--are our ladies, our mothers, grandmothers, and aunts. Betsy's ladies survived broken dreams, social change and families who didn't always stop to understand them, but as they cooked, cleaned and helped put the greatness in the greatest generation with their strength and spirit. Betsy Lerner takes us back to their tables, capturing her own complicated relationship with her mom and etching an entertaining portrait of a group of wonderful American women, growing older now and braving new battles, with sweetness, humor and sharp perceptiveness. This is a book with heart and feeling. -- George Hodgman, author of Bettyville
The Bridge Ladies is a funny, tender, sometimes sad account that is often painful but always honest -- Anne Sebba * Jewish Chronicle *
[Betsy's] laughter-filled memoir of rediscovery and reconciliation is a delicious delight. * Saga *
Highly distinctive . . . a thoughtful, affectionate study. -- Ysenda Maxtone-Graham * Spectator *
The Golden Girls meets The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants for a game of bridge and a plate of fishballs. I loved this memoir about a mother and daughter putting their differences aside. -- Sara Manning * Red *
In the end what we want from our mothers - and what they want from us - is acceptance. "Our mothers have been always trying to fix us, which has given us the message that we're not OK," says Betsy Lerner. Meanwhile, we daughters have been trying to fix them. Betsy's book says, stop trying to fix one another. You're both OK as you are. -- Joanna Moorhead * Guardian *

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