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Publisher's Summary

A 50-year-old bridge game provides an unexpected way to cross the generational divide between a daughter and her mother. Betsy Lerner takes us on a powerfully personal literary journey where we learn a little about bridge and a lot about life.

After a lifetime defining herself in contrast to her mother's "don't ask, don't tell" generation, Lerner finds herself back in her childhood home, not five miles from the mother she spent decades avoiding. When Roz needs help after surgery, it falls to Betsy to take care of her. She expected a week of tense civility; what she gets instead are the Bridge Ladies. Impressed by their loyalty, she sees something her generation lacks. Facebook is great, but it won't deliver a pot roast.

Tentatively at first, Betsy becomes a regular at her mother's Monday bridge club. Through her friendships with the ladies, she is finally able to face years of misunderstandings and family tragedy, the bridge table becoming the common ground she and Roz never had.

By turns darkly funny and deeply moving, The Bridge Ladies is the unforgettable story of a hard-won - but never-too-late - bond between mother and daughter.

©2016 Betsy Lerner (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • DIANE
  • Thornhill,, Ontario, Canada
  • 06-05-17

Profound

This story transcended the actual account of the Bridge Ladies of which Betsy's mom was a member. There was an onion peeled back layer by layer, exposing the delicate intricacies of her relationship with her mother, and her mother's pain, secrets and triumphs. The characters are pithy and significant, each with her own story. I'm glad I didn't miss this book because it's a treasure.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • carole
  • ORLAND PARK, IL, United States
  • 03-31-17

Delightful!

What a wonderful book for anyone who has ever played Bridge or whose mother was a Bridge player! A lovely memoir and a wonderful perspective on how Bridge is more than playing cards. The story was great, the narrator was excellent.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

I Related to this Story

What did you like best about The Bridge Ladies? What did you like least?

I am the same age as the author, child of Jewish Bridge players. So this book resonated! And her writing is lovely!

How could the performance have been better?

The narrator mangled more than the Yiddish - she mangled some English, too! Nonagenerian and Anathema not pronounced right? Yikes!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Hours of complaining about her mother

If you can get past the first 4 chapters of her complaining about her mother in rambling monologues you may be able to tolerate the rest of it. Thoughtful in ways but not particularly interesting or unique.

I thought the bridge portions would be more interesting but seemed extraneous in the context of the story.

The performance was good but made often me sleepy .

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

You can tell she's a poet

This book is excellently written-- funny and profound. I grew up in an environment similar to the author's, which enhanced the content for me. My only criticism is that the narrator mangled all the Yiddish words.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Pleasantly surprised!

I belong to a book club with ages ranging similar to the women in this book. Cannot wait to suggest this book because I believe it will touch everyone differently. The author was right on and the narrator was excellent also, expressing each character with the right voice to help you bring that person to life. It helped me to even understand some young women in my life, how they have such a negative attitude about growing old, and also my own mother with me taking her constant criticism so personally. Now with her gone, I would take back every conversation I got upset with and as one line in the book mentioned, think of it as a play. And now would laugh but also appreciate that caring, nurturing mother with open arms and a more loving and understanding heart. Thank you Betsy Lerner for bringing joy into my life after going to a terrible tragedy of losing a beloved young son and also Orlagh Cassidy for putting so much effort to make your voice bring everyone of the ladies into my imagination, Just as if some I would know or want to now personally. Made me call my dear 85 year old neighbor to ask out for lunch. We met 40 years ago, and immediately called her my Jewish mother. Seeing everything I did as perfect and always being unconditionally loving and accepting, just as some of the characters gave to the lead character, what her mother was not capable of giving her. And sure enough our lunch was full of laughs and her giving me that nurturing caring love I so sadly miss from my mother of origin. Thank you. Best wishes and going to see what else you two beautiful women are up to these days. Warmest regards, Nancy

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

An easy-to-listen to book CT folks will enjoy

I enjoyed listening to the book and hearing references of towns and places I know from living in CT. I would have liked it if the narrator had known the Yiddish words she read; her pronunciation was off on quite few. Overall, it was a nice memoir.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • wjo
  • Colorado
  • 06-21-18

If you play bridge, read it

This is an in depth view of relationships with Bridge as the vehicle. I loved it.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

BORING!!!

This is a book I am very ambivalent about. It was what I expected but overall, it was boring. I wish I had returned it.