The Bridge Ladies: A Memoir

Author(s): Betsy Lerner


A fifty-year-old Bridge club provides an unexpected connection across a generational divide between mother and daughter.

After a lifetime of defining herself against her mother’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell generation, Betsy Lerner, an enthusiastic member of the Sex, Drugs, and Rock ‘n’ Roll generation, found herself back home in the suburban Connecticut town that represented everything she wanted to flee: namely the traditional life her mother stood for.

Yet when Roz needed help after surgery, Betsy stepped in. She expected a week of tense civility; what she got were the Bridge Ladies.

Tentatively at first, Betsy became a regular fixture at her mother’s Monday Bridge club. Unexpectedly, the Bridge Ladies became a Greek chorus, a catalyst for change between Betsy and Roz as they reconciled years of painful misunderstandings and harrowing silences. The Bridge table became the common ground they never had.

Darkly funny and deeply moving, The Bridge Ladies weaves the histories of the ladies with those of Betsy and her mother across a lifetime of missed opportunities. The result is an unforgettable story of a hard-won—but never-too-late—bond between mother and daughter.


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A heart-warming memoir of female friendships, mothers and daughters - and bridge

Through the alchemy of a grand game, Betsy Lerner has woven a universal coming of age story for both mother and daughter. A poignant, humorous and often painful struggle through the pageantry of playing cards; a woman's face on every one. -- Patti Smith, author of Just Kids and M Train This is the best book about mothers and daughters I've read in decades, maybe ever. I just loved it, related to it viscerally, kept calling up my daughters to read passages aloud to them. It's about - in addition to bridge of course - mother-daughter conflict, the desire to love and be loved, aging and loss, discovery and renewal. Betsy Lerner is a beautiful, achingly honest writer, and The Bridge Ladies is at once heartbreaking and hilarious, uplifting and profound -- Amy Chua, Yale Law Professor and author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother and The Triple Package The Bridge Ladies reminded me of Tuesdays With Morrie, except that it takes place on Mondays and it has five Morries. In this exquisitely written book, there's humor, candor, no-nonsense wisdom - and portraits of five women whose like we won't see again. I devoured it in one greedy sitting, and started re-reading as soon as I finished. -- Will Schwalbe, author of The End of Your Life Book Club Betsy Lerner's ladies--her Rozs and Rhodas, Bettes, Beas and Jackies--are our ladies, our mothers, grandmothers, and aunts. Betsy's ladies survived broken dreams, social change and families who didn't always stop to understand them, but as they cooked, cleaned and helped put the greatness in the greatest generation with their strength and spirit. Betsy Lerner takes us back to their tables, capturing her own complicated relationship with her mom and etching an entertaining portrait of a group of wonderful American women, growing older now and braving new battles, with sweetness, humor and sharp perceptiveness. This is a book with heart and feeling. -- George Hodgman, author of Bettyville The Bridge Ladies is a funny, tender, sometimes sad account that is often painful but always honest. Jewish Chronicle [Betsy's] laughter-filled memoir of rediscovery and reconciliation is a delicious delight. Saga Highly distinctive ... a thoughtful, affectionate study. -- Ysenda Maxtone-Graham Spectator The Golden Girls meets The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants for a game of bridge and a plate of fishballs. I loved this memoir about a mother and daughter putting their differences aside -- Sara Manning Red In the end what we want from our mothers - and what they want from us - is acceptance. "Our mothers have been always trying to fix us, which has given us the message that we're not OK," says Betsy Lerner. Meanwhile, we daughters have been trying to fix them. Betsy's book says, stop trying to fix one another. You're both OK as you are. -- Joanna Moorhead Guardian Heart-warming Sunday Express

Betsy Lerner is the author of The Forest for the Tress and Food and Loathing. She received an MFA from Columbia University in Poetry and was the recipient of a Thomas Wolfe Poetry Prize, an Academy of American Poets Poetry Prize, and was one of PEN's Emerging Writers. She also received the Tony Godwin Publishing Prize for Editors Under 35. After working as an editor for 15 years, she became an agent and is currently a partner with Dunow, Carlson and Lerner Literary Agency. She lives in Connecticut.

General Fields

  • : 9781447272526
  • : Pan Macmillan
  • : Pan
  • : February 2017
  • : 197mm X 130mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : February 2017
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : 324
  • : Betsy Lerner
  • : Paperback
  • : Main Market Ed.
  • : English
  • : 305.2092 B