Alexander’s Bridge, by Willa Cather ****

alexandersbridgeYour reviewer is presently finishing up a couple of ARC’s; meanwhile, let’s look at a classic that has kept its appeal over the years. There’s nobody who writes like Willa Cather.

Alexander is an architect who designs bridges. Right now he has two problem bridges. One is in Canada. Stunning, innovative, and unusual, it draws a great deal of publicity. The problem is that it’s flawed. In fact, as he comes to realize with horror, it isn’t actually safe.

The other problem is his relationship bridge; he has two women, one of whom he is married to in the USA, the other in London. That great big pond isn’t quite large enough to keep the two sides of his life from banging into one another. He loves both and doesn’t want to lose either of them, but he is essentially a monogamous person, and he doesn’t feel so good. He’s cheating on his wife and she doesn’t know about it; he keeps meaning to end it with Hilda, but when he sees her, he can’t.

The whole thing is resolved in a manner both brilliant and unanticipated until it is upon us. A novella rather than a novel, but quite well done. I do love Cather’s work!

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