Bridge of Sighs
Richard Russo’s first novel since his Pulitzer Prize-winning Empire Falls (2001) will more than satisfy fans who appreciate his dense, multifaceted tales of small-town life. Peopled with dozens of vivid characters, cross-generational timelines and enough subplots for three novels, Bridge of Sighs is classic Russo, at once humble and grand, a small world writ large. Like the earlier work, it’s set in upstate New York, this time in a town called Thomaston, but it’s larger in scope, thanks to the inclusion of a parallel story set in Venice and involving an expatriate artist who looms large in the lives of the story’s main characters. Russo’s characters are so vividly depicted, and with such warmth, that it’s impossible not to love them, no matter how foolish or nasty they become. This is a great American story, beautifully written, often funny and ultimately deeply touching.