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Archibald's Swiss Cheese Mountain by Sylvia Lieberman
Arkfall by Carolyn Ives Gilman
The Blunder by Joe Kilgore
A Bell for Adano by John Hersey
The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder
The Chinese Orange Mystery by Ellery Queen
The Copenhagen Connection by Elizabeth Peters
Eat, Drink and Be Married by Eve Makis
Forty Days by Jill Smolinski
Four Seasons in Five Senses by David Mas Masumoto
The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton
Hello Piglet! by Muff Singer
Idaho Snapshots by Rick Just
Inside Story by Albert E. Cowdrey
Just Visiting by Nancy Sparling
King, Queen, Knave by Vladimir Nabokov
King of the World by David Remnick
The Last Plague by Glen E. Page
Lifeguard by James Patterson and Andrew Gross
Marvin K. Mooney Will Please Go! by Dr. Seuss
The Mental Environment by Bob Gebelein
Moscow Rules by Daniel Silva
Night Train to Memphis by Elizabeth Peters
Nine Whispered Opinions Regarding the Alaskan Secession by George Guthridge
Peachblossom by Eleanor Frances Lattimore
Picnic at Pentecost by Rand B. Lee
Ookpik by Bruce Hiscock
Quondam by Jayel Gibson
Run! Run! by John Aikin
Salad for Two by Robert Reed
Search Continues for Eldery Man by Laura Kasischke
Shed That Guilt! Double Your Productivity by Michael Swanwick and Eileen Gunn
Small Worlds by Gretchen Laskas
Templeton Turtle Goes Exploring by Ron Pridmore
The Twenty Dollar Bill by Elmore Hammes
The Uncertainty Principle by Lynda Curnyn

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5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

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The Bridge of San Luis Rey: 09/08/08

The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder was the 1928 Pulitzer Prize winner. Set in Peru this historical fiction explores the ways in which the actions of individuals might play together in some great cosmic whole. The novel traces the lives of three of five victims of an Incan rope bridge and the friar who decides to use the tragedy to finally prove God's existence.

The first and final chapters focus on the bridge and friar while the middle three trace the lives of three of the dead: the Marquesa de Monte mayer, Esteban, and Uncle Pio. Although brother Juniper sets out to document every detail of their lives he never learns "the central passion of Doña María's life; nor of Uncle Pio's, not even Esteban's." (p. 7). The randomness of life and the secret driving forces of people is a central theme of The Bridge of San Luis Rey.

Although the novel is only 116 pages, being really more of a novella than a novel, it is one that needs to be read slowly and pondered. I reread a number of passages feeling comfortable taking the time to rethink what I'd just read since I wasn't committed to a lengthier work. For its turn of phrase and its location, I was reminded a bit of Isabel Allende's novels.

Comments (2)

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Comment #1: Wednesday, September, 10, 2008 at 21:56:49

Nicola Manning

This is one book I've always wanted to read but have just never got around to. I'll have to start looking for it at the thrift shops and read it soon."

Comment#2: Wednesday, September 10, 2008 at 22:42:34

Pussreboots says:

Your local library might have a copy too. Happy reading.