Russel Readers: Bridge of Sighs
Louis Charles ( Lucy ) Lynch has spent his entire life in Thomaston, married for 40 years to his wife, Sarah, and finally living in the rich section of town, thanks to the success of his father's convenience stores. Long planning a trip to Venice, he tries in vain to communicate with the couple's best friend, Bobby Marconi, now a world-famous painter living in Venice. Meanwhile, the irascible ex-pat, now approaching 60 and suffering from night terrors, is still chasing women, engaging in fistfights, and struggling to complete his latest painting. Russo slowly and lovingly pieces together rich, multilayered portraits not only of the principals but also of their families, and, by extension, their quintessentially American town. It is a seamless interweaving of childhood memories (sometimes told from three points of view), tragic incidents (the town river, once the lifeblood of local industry, has become a toxic stew that is poisoning residents), and unforgettable dialogue that is so natural, funny, and touching that it may, perhaps, be the best of Russo's many gifts.