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A fifty-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 got instead were the Bridge Ladies. Impressed by their loyalty, she saw something her generation lacked. Facebook was great, but it wouldn’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.
Example in this ebook CHAPTER XXXII. Left to themselves, Millefleurs and Beaufort stood opposite to each other for a moment with some embarrassment. To have anything to do with a quarrel is always painful for the third person; and it was so entirely unexpected, out of the way of all his habits, that Beaufort felt himself exceptionally incapable of dealing with it. "Millefleurs," he said with hesitation, "I don't understand all this. That was a very strange tone to take in speaking to—a friend." He felt for the first time like a tutor discharging an uncomfortable office, knowing that it must be done, yet that he was not the man to do it, and that of all the youthful individuals in the world, the last person to be so lectured was Millefleurs. "Naturally you think so. The circumstances make all the difference, don't you know," said Millefleurs, with his ordinary composure. "And the situation. In 'Frisco it might not have been of any great consequence. Helping a bully out of the world is not much of a crime there. But then it's never hushed up. No one makes a secret of it: that is the thing that sets one's blood up, don't you know. Not for Torrance's sake—who, so far as I can make out, was a cad—or poor Lady Car's, to whom it's something like a deliverance——" "Torrance!" cried Beaufort, with a gasp. "Lady—Car! Do you mean to say——" "Then——" said Millefleurs, "he never told you? That is a curious piece of evidence. They do things straightforward in Denver City—not like that. He never spoke of an event which had made the country ring——" "Torrance!" repeated Beaufort, bewildered. The world seemed all to reel about him. He gazed at his companion with eyes wide opened but scarcely capable of vision. By-and-by he sat down abruptly on the nearest chair. He did not hear what Millefleurs was saying. Presently he turned to him, interrupting him unconsciously. "Torrance!" he repeated; "let there be no mistake. You mean the man—to whom Carry—Lady Caroline—was married?" Millefleurs fixed upon him his little keen black eyes. He recalled to himself tones and looks which had struck him at the moment, on which he had not been able to put any interpretation. He nodded his head without saying anything. He was as keen after any piece of human history as a hound on a scent. And now he was too much interested, too eager for new information, to speak. "And it happened," said Beaufort, "on Thursday—on the day I arrived?" He drew a long breath to relieve his breast, then waved his hand. "Yes; if that is all, Erskine told me of it," he said. "You have something to do with them also, old fellow," said Millefleurs, patting him on the shoulder. "I knew there was something. Come along and walk with me. I must see it out; but perhaps we had better not meet again just now—Erskine and I, don't you know. Perhaps I was rude. Come along; it is your duty to get me out of harm's way. Was there anything remarkable, by the way, in the fact that this happened just when you arrived?" To be continue in this ebook
This is the continuing story of two men, alike in many ways, who travel far from their native land but are both drawn back to Durham, the spectacular mediaeval city that dominates the northeastern counties of England. But there is a difference. Six hundred years separates the lives of the two men. Oswald, who has seen action in France and England, is loyal to his King, Edward III, who is also called Plantagenet. When Oswald sees that the lives of Edward and his son, John of Lancaster (called John of Gaunt by many modern historians), are in jeopardy, he calls to his descendent, James Simpson, for help. James Simpson is a scientist of world renown who turns his talents to writing historical fiction. After returning to his native Durham, he settles into a quiet village hoping to continue his writing. But when Oswald contacts him, he realizes that they are closer in relationship and behavior that he had believed. Simpson is surprised to find that Oswald is reaching out to him from the past. He is also surprised that Oswald has a mission for him that requires being transported back into the fourteenth century. Simpson cannot resist being personally drawn into the mystery. With the exception of the main fictional characters in the story, the book is a historically accurate account of life in the fourteenth century and the politics that surrounded the throne of England.
In this madcap romp through the life of a typical senior citizen, author S. L. Varnado discusses his problems with telephone menus that fail to connect him with a living person, computers that refuse to compute, and HMOs that motivate him to seek assisted suicide. As Varnado shares his difficulties with a "satanic" television set that brings in the Beverly Hillbillies speaking French, diets that lead to slow death by starvation, "aerobic exercises" that take the wind out of you, and "ghetto blasters" that wake the neighborhood at midnight, it becomes apparent that an elderly person's life is beset with danger in this brave new world of the twenty-first century. Varnado winces at the grim difficulties of a wife who keeps him on a rigorous diet and doctors who leave him alone for hours in tiny cubicles. There are, however, rare moments of triumph, such as when he convinces his wife that he is not really the "klutz" she thinks he is and when he makes a delightful pilgrimage to the local shopping mall. Although never one to take things lightly, Varnado leaves you with the feeling that even though "life can't be beautiful," a little cleverness can make it "tolerable."
For more than forty years, the mantra of the eight women in the Bridge Club has been "one for all and all for one." Beginning their monthly soiree in the psychedelic Sixties, unpredicted twists of fate weave through the good times and strong friendship they share as the years pass. The constant from one decade to the next is loyal and nonjudgmental support, even when agreeing to disagree is the final solution. From the exhilarating cultural changes of their early times together through the "zoomer" years, their connection never falters. As they celebrate turning sixty (give or take a year) at a group birthday weekend, each woman recalls a challenging time in her life when the Bridge Club came to the rescue. After tossing around ideas mixed with a generous helping of common sense and a large dose of laughter they decide to refer to that time as their "SOS." Eight chapters document each one's story. Everything is put into perspective and the strength of their friendship is truly tested when one of these women faces a life-altering decision. Her choice profoundly affects all members of the group, pushing the limits of their beliefs and values. The unique alliance they share is confronted with a crisis none of them might have imagined.