Eight women. Four Decades. One unimaginable weekend.
How far would you go to help a good friend? Is there a place where you might draw the line?
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.
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
Book Club questions available for download here or viewing below:
A few words from the author:
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.
If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to really have true friends who are there for you thru thick and thin, who make you laugh and at the same time infuriate you yet who always have your back, then this is the book for you. If you want to exhale squeals of laughter, or silently sob at heart wrenching challenges, then this is the book for you. If you want to be transported into the fascinating lives of characters who you now desperately want to meet, then this is the book for you. Good books stimulate, inspire and provoke a plethora of emotions. The Bridge Club does that in spades. So many emotions were aroused as I read it…joy, sadness, curiousity, doubt, anger, jealousy, empathy..I could go on but I won’t as I don’t want to give it all away. All I can say is, buy it, read it, and pass it on to your friends, your sisters, your daughters for you will be moved to recreate this most enriching circle of friendship.Janice C.
Reading Patricia Sand’s The Bridge Club feels a little like taking a long road trip with a friend, she drives as we listen to her narrate this story of eight female characters, a condensed version of their lives, her voice like the gentle thrum of the engine, lulling us at times into a companionable silence, we listen and observe the passing landscape of years, immersing into these lives as if they were our own.Claire McAlpine
This was a wonderful book. The Bridge Club, a novel by Patricia Sands, is one of those books that you treasure while you’re reading it and can’t wait to share with friends. The lovely story of a forty year friendship among eight women is beautifully written and touches the heart. The problems these women face over the years cover so many issues that women of today are dealing with. Lots of laughs, lots of tears and a book to be remembered long after the ending is reached.Karla Darcy
Intricate, emotional, unforgettable saga of eight friends who’ve been meeting over the years. Unforgettable meetings which allow them (and us, the readers) to focus on the “big” moments in their lives, share their doubts and enthusiasms, help each other until the last chapter that reserves a real surprise. Don’t miss it!Claude Nougat