Kirkus Star


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There will be a very approachable audience to whom Mr. Bridge needs no further introduction than as the husband of Mrs. Bridge. An undemonstrative family man of exceptional probity and propriety, Mr. Bridge is a lawyer who commutes daily from his office and the protective efficiency of his secretary to his home where he is well taken care of by his wife and a faithful live-in servant, Harriet. Nothing disturbs the equanimity of his lifestyle (unless it might be some subtler, latterday recognitions of what has been lost). This then takes place during the depression years leading up to World War II and while everything's not so up-to-date in Kansas City, there are symptomatic signs of transition--the encroachment of Jews in the neighborhood; or the possibility that their colored servant's nephew will attempt to enter Harvard; or that their own children will be doing unlikely things with unsuitable people. At the end, Mr. Bridge is seen as the bewildered, beleaguered midcult man unable to cross the chasm of the generations and changing times. . . . Mr. Connell like Mr. Bridge is a literalist but there are saddening, softening moments which redeem the latter from the posaic bind of his predictability. Once again the particular appeal of the book is Mr. Connell's ability to elevate these circumscribed commonplaces so that they will speak to a great many people in a fashion which is reminiscent and thus reassuring.

Pub Date: April 22nd, 1969
Publisher: Knopf