Franzen's Favorite Fiction
From the Publisher
Before Betty Friedan wrote The Feminine Mystique there was Mrs. Bridge, an inspired novel set in the years around World War II that testified to the sapping ennui of an unexamined suburban life. India Bridge, the title character, has three children and a meticulous workaholic husband. Though her life is increasingly filled with leisure and plenty, she can't shuffle off vague feelings of dissatisfaction, confusion, and futility. Evan S. Connell builds a world with tiny brushstrokes and short, telling vignettes.
In the companion volume, Mr. Bridge, Walter Bridge is an ambitious lawyer who redoubles his efforts and time at the office whenever he senses that his family needs something, even when what they need is more of him and less of his money. Affluence, material assets, and comforts create a cocoon of community respectability that cloaks the void within—not the skeleton in the closet but a black hole swallowing the whole household.