This memoir is another book I picked up at a book sale, and then didn’t make time to read the physical copy, so I listened to the audiobook instead. Lerner’s story, narrated by Orlagh Cassidy, was entertaining and shared a lot about the game of Bridge, a mother-daughter relationship, and life strategies.
In the memoir, Lerner reveals that her relationship with her mother has never been good. Growing up, Betsy rebelled against the traditional Jewish housewife lifestyle her mother had, opting for a more rock ‘n roll feminist route by moving to NYC and doing as she pleased. However, after years of therapy, settling down, having kids, and burying her father, Betsy was amicable to reestablishing a relationship with her mother. Then, it became a necessity as her husband landed a job in the suburbs, causing then to move back into Betsy’s old neighborhood.
In her childhood years, Betsy has witnessed her mother and friends play Bridge, a very involved card game, every Monday afternoon for as long as she could remember. Betsy decides that the best way to get to know her mother again would be from across the card table. She begins learning by watching, then eventually takes a class on how to play Bridge. Through it all, she learns that there is more to the game, as well as more to her mother, than she could’ve imagined.
I thought the memoir was entertaining, but I often felt that Betsy and her mother were often conflicted and overly sensitive with each other for most of the book, which grew tiresome at times.Often, I thought that Betsy needed a little perspective- and by the end, she achieved. Thankfully, the background of the card game and the observations made about the strategy, the players, and the teaching class were a great distraction from the mother/daughter relationship woes. There was also plenty of humor and storytelling, and I thought the narrator did a great job creating distinct voices for the Bridge ladies. God, I loved the accents!
Would I recommend the read? Well, I think it’s a pretty specific group that would enjoy this novel, so I probably wouldn’t recommend it to everyone, but if you enjoy Bridge, memoirs, relationship dynamics, or are in the later years of your life and can relate to most of the bridge ladies, then I would say go for it.