Eight women. Four Decades. One unimaginable weekend.
Where can you find a story about friendship, laughter and the good things in life that also touches on alcoholism, infidelity, porn addiction, terminal illness and grief? For most women, it’s often within their own circle of friends.
Author Patricia Sands reminds us of the complexities of womens friendships in her new book, The Bridge Club, a moving tale of eight women whose lives intersect once a month initially to play the game of bridge. What began as one night turns into four decades that span the segments of a woman’s journey from youthful optimism to embracing the challenges and opportunities presented in life’s later years.
Based loosely on her own bridge club, Sands weaves the reader through a maze of life’s inevitable scenarios as the club bears the death of a member’s spouse, one woman’s meeting with her biological mother, the inevitable marital and health issues, and another’s final chance at freedom through the most difficult choice.
“There are many subjects I address in the book that are controversial. Some people may wonder if they were chosen to thicken the plot,” says Sands. “Although I have taken liberties with the actual events, and it is truly a work of fiction, most issues faced by the characters in the book were experienced in my own bridge club. The bottom line of the story is a testament to friendship and hope.”
The final chapter of The Bridge Club challenges our principles as one woman begins to descend into dementia.
The Bridge Club has been described as an excellent book club read with issues to debate throughout.
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This is a novel for anyone who values friendship. I don’t mean simply the “Hi, how are you?” type of friendship but rather the kind that weathers all sorts of storms, unselfishly celebrates triumphs, and hums along year after year with never an unkind word. It does exist.
If you have such a friendship in your life you will relate to the women in The Bridge Club. If you don’t, perhaps the story will inspire you to search for it.
Although this novel is a work of fiction, many of the issues are based on the experiences of my real-life Bridge Club of over forty years. The friendship is certainly true of us. I chose to write about the controversial topic in the final chapter after watching a friend deteriorate intellectually and physically in a locked Alzheimer’s ward at the age of fifty-three. It was shattering to observe.
Throughout the story each of the characters faces challenges and change in her life. The Bridge Club emphasizes how strong friendship helped to enable these changes and demonstrates how these women empowered each other and indeed how much they learned from each other in the process. Change is inevitable and personal growth should always be the outcome. This novel encourages women to feel positive about facing the challenges, large and small, that may arise at any stage of our life and to recognize how building a strong foundation of friendship is a priceless asset in so many ways. Knowing you are offering true friendship to someone is as rewarding as receiving it.
Foreword Reviews 2010 Book Of The Year (general fiction)
2011 Next Generation Indie Book Awards (First Novel – over 80,000 words)
2012 Indie Excellence Book Awards – Womens Fiction
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Book Club questions available for download here or viewing below: