The Bridge Ladies

The Bridge Ladies

A Memoir

eBook - 2016
Average Rating:
Rate this:
A fifty-year-old Bridge game provides an unexpected way to cross the generational divide between a daughter and her mother. Betsy Lerner takes us on a powerfully personal literary journey, where we learn a little about Bridge and a lot about life.After a lifetime defining herself in contrast to her mother's "don't ask, don't tell" generation, Lerner finds herself back in her childhood home, not five miles from the mother she spent decades avoiding. When Roz needs help after surgery, it falls to Betsy to take care of her. She expected a week of tense civility; what she got instead were the Bridge Ladies. Impressed by their loyalty, she saw something her generation lacked. Facebook was great, but it wouldn't deliver a pot roast.Tentatively at first, Betsy becomes a regular at her mother's Monday Bridge club. Through her friendships with the ladies, she is finally able to face years of misunderstandings and family tragedy, the Bridge table becoming the common ground she and Roz never had.By turns darkly funny and deeply moving, The Bridge Ladies is the unforgettable story of a hard-won—but never-too-late—bond between mother and daughter.
Publisher: 2016
ISBN: 9780062354488
Branch Call Number: e-book
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Alternative Title: Library2Go


From Library Staff

List - Beach Reads 2016
WVMLlibrarian Jul 12, 2016

After spending decades avoiding her mother, Lerner finds herself back in her childhood home with the task of nursing her mother. What she didn’t expect was becoming a regular at her mother’s Monday night bridge club. While befriending her mother’s strong, vibrant, and funny friends, Lerner is giv... Read More »

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
JCLStefanieE Jul 13, 2017

I was reminded of The Joy Luck Club while reading this true story about a woman who joins her octogenarian mother's bridge club. It was a pleasant read overall and a nice study on the relationship between mothers and daughters.

coroboreefarm Jul 11, 2016

I have always been fascinated by four individual sterling silver ashtrays, tiny and perfect, that belonged to my friend's mother and were used exclusively when the bridge club met at her home. They always conjure up images of perfectly made up and coiffed ladies wearing delightful hats and matching gloves. Ladies of this generation, like the ladies of the bridge club in Betsy Lerner's memoir, formed fast friendships within women's clubs and activities. It was these friendships that helped them navigate life through the stoic sixties and the tumultuous seventies right into old age where their support and encouragement for each other lends itself to dealing with issues of ill health and loss.

The author of this memoir, Betsy Lerner, learns to play bridge and interacts with the ladies of the bridge club when she comes back to her childhood home to help her mother convalesce. Betsy has always had a troubled relationship with her mother, and although her issues are not completely resolved in the book, she gains a greater appreciation for the women of this generation, and of the challenges and obstacles that shaped their attitudes towards life.
I particularly liked the parts of the book where Betsy met with the ladies individually, in various venues and listened to them tell the stories of their early lives. These conversations gave depth and insight into the world they inhabited, the same world that imbued Betsy's mother with the characteristics that she found so problematic as a younger woman. I was only disappointed that the healing between mother and daughter was not more richly realized.

CatherineG_1 May 29, 2016

Betsy Lerner's Bridge Ladies brings us into the lives of 5 ladies who meet and play bridge every Monday afternoon, for over 50 years. Along with playing cards, these women are inseparable and lifelines for each other. Betsy learns a love for the game as well as great respect for each person in the group. Through individual interviews, she finds out their aspirations, dreams and how they came to live the lives they did.
This book reminded me of my mother's relationship with her friends, in the same time period. Made me want to think about taking up bridge again.

May 16, 2016

I was fascinated by the premise of this book as my parents also played bridge. My mother played in the afternoon with other women and in the evening with my father as a couple. The author's mother is only a few years younger then mine so the time period also aligned with my experiences. Lerner is very honest about her not-so-wonderful relationship with her mother through her growing up years and afterwards. When she moved back to her hometown and found herself in a caretaker role after her mother's surgery, she came in contact with the "bridge ladies". During the next three years, Lerner learned to play bridge and became entrenched with the bridge ladies. This common bond led to a better, but not perfect, relationship for one mother and daughter. This book covers a lot of social history and emotional turmoil between the greatest generation parents and their baby boomer children as illustrated by 5 families. A great companion book for this memoir would be Another Country: Navigating the Emotional Terrain of Our Elders by Mary Pipher.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further


Subject Headings


Find it at WVML

To Top