If you have read or are planning to read this book, please make sure to stop back by and leave me a comment to let me know your own thoughts!
|Book Title:||The Bridge of San Luis Rey|
|Pub. Date:||1998 (original - 1927)|
|Started:||September 15, 2010|
|Finished:||September 18, 2010|
|Time to Read:||3 Days|
|Back Cover / Inside Flap:||"On Friday noon, July the twentieth, 1714, the finest bridge in all Peru broke and precipitated five travelers into the gulf below." With this celebrated sentence Thornton Wilder beings The Bridge of San Luis Rey, one of the towering achievements in American fiction and a novel read throughout the world.|
By chance, a monk witnesses the tragedy. Brother Juniper then embarks on a quest to prove that it was divine intervention rather than chance that led to the deaths of those who perished in the tragedy. His search leads to his own death -- and to the author's timeless investigation into the nature of love and the meaning of the human condition.
|Review:||The first time I read this timeless Wilder work, I was in middle school. I was in a phase where I was enthralled by teenage "sob" novels - where the main character had some horrific disease and only a short time to live. The last line of The Bridge of San Luis Rey was quoted in one of the books - "There is a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning." Other than Bible versus, this was the first line I'd ever memorized from literature, and once read, I had to find the book where it originated. I love this novella then...and still love it now.|
The cover literature of the novel makes a big deal out of the monk who witnesses the collapse of the bridge, but the book itself makes him a rather minor character. Rather, you learn about the foibles and virtues of the three main individuals who died and their two companions about whom less is known. In some of the most vividly realistically writing known to literature, Wilder creates personalities that are at once universal and unique. Although a short work - really, more of a novella than a novel - it is the perfect length to portray the message I believe Wilder is seeking to share - that all human life has value, and all of life cannot be explained as anything more than the work of God. Really, this is a book you can read in a fairly short sitting, but I always draw it out to multiple days because it's too delicious not to savor for a longer time than mere hours. If you've never read this book, you need to go get it now!
From my library to yours,