Monday, April 4, 2011

The Bridge Club… was never just about the cards

Patricia Sands

iUniverse (2010)
ISBN 9781450241359
Reviewed by Olivera Baumgartner-Jackson for Reader Views

At the first glance "The Bridge Club" with its title and the retro-looking pink and black cover did not look too promising. I don't play or understand bridge, and pink has never been my favorite color. But I am so glad I picked this one up! My first clue should have been the little note on the cover itself, saying, "….. it was never just about the cards." And while bridge runs throughout the book, it certainly is not the most important part of the story.

Where should I start, without giving away too much of the story? Maybe with a quick quote from the book itself… "The Bridge Club: eight women, just over their sixty-year speed bump. They were never anything remotely resembling Desperate Housewives or Ya-Ya candidates but simply great friends since their footloose days of finding the way through their early twenties. During those heady days of the mid to late 1960s they had, in various combinations, lived, worked, studied, traveled, and certainly partied together."

Here you have it, the framework of an amazing story of enduring friendship of the best kind, one that stands the test of time and is always supportive, even when things get really bad and some tough love is the only possible solution.

Ms. Sands wrote a convincing and heart-warming story of a diverse group of women who found out that the one true constant in their lives was this group of friends, always there to support, to advise, to console or prod them along, no matter what life threw their way. There to party, there to help, there to commiserate, there to admonish – no situation too small or too big, too ugly or too unusual for them to handle. Eight separate stories, one for each of the members of the club, dealing with a variety of truly life-changing, very realistic situations of different kinds, set the stage for the final, ninth story. This is the one that will test all of their beliefs again, and since I truly do not want to even hint at the ending, let me simply say that I love the unconventional way Ms. Sands dealt with the identity of the heroine of this last story.

I absolutely loved "The Bridge Club..." It made me enormously grateful for the friends that I have, and for the things I've experienced and places I've been to. It made me realize again how important female friendships are for us women, and how nothing else can really take their place. Great writing, great story and for certain one you'll want to share with your own friends!

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