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Publisher's Summary

Six years after the best-selling, Pulitzer Prize-winning Empire Falls, Richard Russo returns with a novel that expands even further his widely heralded achievement. Louis Charles ("Lucy") Lynch has spent all of his 60 years in upstate Thomaston, New York, married to the same woman, Sarah, for 40 of them, with their son now a grown man. Like his late, beloved father, Lucy is an optimist, though he's had plenty of reasons not to be - chief among them his mother, still indomitably alive. Yet it was her shrewdness, combined with that Lynch optimism, that had propelled them years ago to the right side of the tracks and created an "empire" of convenience stores about to be passed on to the next generation.
Lucy and Sarah are also preparing for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Italy, where his oldest friend, a renowned painter, has exiled himself far from anything they'd known in childhood. In fact, the exact nature of their friendship is one of the many mysteries Lucy hopes to untangle in the "history" he's writing of his hometown and family. And with his story interspersed with that of Noonan, the native son who'd fled so long ago, the destinies building up around both of them (and Sarah, too) are relentless, constantly surprising, and utterly revealing.
©2007 Richard Russo (P)2007 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"Largehearted, vividly populated and filled with life from America's recent, still vanishing past." ( Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Victoria Wright on 10-08-07


What a book! I've been a Russo fan since "The Risk Pool," and I downloaded "Bridge of Sighs" the day it was released. I took the day off from work and unplugged the phone. When it ended, I started it over again. There is a kindness and insight and depth of understanding to Mr. Russo's writing that makes me weak in the knees. He captures the pathos of the near-miss, and the dignity and indignities required to see through to the end the lives we choose.

Readers/listeners who are familiar with the down-on-their-luck towns of his other books (except "Straight Man," which is a whole other delightful story of its own) will feel as though they've come home again. These new characters, too, are flawed, trying hard, making the best of it, making mistakes, coming together, and falling apart. The plot is textured and complex, spanning generations, continents, and social classes. It is wistful, heartbreaking, sweet, sad, and often funny, and although I missed the wisecracking Sully and his friends (if you haven't yet, get "Nobody's Fool"), these people had distinct voices that were just as affecting and effective.

The narrator is terrific, with a nuanced style that reflects the pain (or joy) of the action and the lyricism of the prose.

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41 of 41 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Cathy on 10-13-07

may be the best

I've been a member of Audible since 2001 and have heard a lot of wonderful books and this was one of the very best! I loved the length of the book and the depth that Russo developed the characters. None of the characters were totally good or evil- just like real people. One thing I really liked was the insight he had in the understanding of the characters as they aged and developed. The different stories came together to keep the book interesting. I hope it doesn't take years for Russo to write another. However long it takes, it will be worth it.

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13 of 13 people found this review helpful

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