Bridge of Sighs by Richard Russo


Audiobook.  The setting is a small, wasting town in upstate New York, where people find themselves out of work and sometimes sick from the chemicals that once were a part of their employment.  This one focuses on two generations of the Lynch family.  First, Big Lou Lynch, so good-hearted and unable to see how things are, that I was as exasperated as his waspish wife, Tessa.  And the son Lou was also willfully blind — in fact, I found his teenage self to be pretty hard to believe.  He seemed to have grown up without understanding some pretty fundamental social mores.  Into the life of the Lynch family comes a girfriend (Sarah) of the son, who is talented, attractive, smart, and needy enough to find solace in this family.  Likewise a teenage boy shows up who is talented, attractive, smart, etc., etc. 

There are many interesting moments in the life of this small town, some of them quite dramatic, that keep you going.  And of course the underlying theme of a nearly dying town, whose death mystifies or angers the inhabitants is a worthy one.   

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