The Bridge Ladies: A Memoir
The author, Betsy Lerner, not only records a touching memoir of her relationship with her apparently reticent mother but at the same time provides a sociological study of the contrast between female expectations before the 1960’s and those behaviors prevailing now after the pill. And what better way to list the differences than through the metaphorical game of bridge. Over the span of time, women’s goals have changed from seeking early marriage with servitude to some male who will be a good provider and caring father to the current quest for self-fulfillment and identity. Each of the five octogenarian bridge participants has her life reviewed, exposing youthful talents denied expression by the cultural limitations of their era and contrasted with the current feminist stress of expressing individuality and taking on personal responsibility.
Not only is learning the game of bridge challenging, but struggling to translate the values and behaviors that mark the differences in the generation gap strains the understanding. Bridge is the catalyst that awakens compassion between mother and daughter. Written with snappish humor and with keen delicacy for the bridge players’ personalities, this is a rewarding book to remind us how time refashions thoughts as the world turns.