Richard Russo has written a massive tome about tiny events—"small, good things" or "small men with small dreams" in his typically underplayed phrasing. The world he draws moves forward by nearly inconsequential events, such as the day in kindergarten when Lou C. Lynch becomes Lucy Lynch and the name sticks for life, or the way a white girl's overly polite refusal of a black boy's request for a date—"I'll have to ask my father"—becomes an acceptance when her liberal father insists that she go, a date which lands the boy in a coma after the town bullies beat him up for crossing the color line. Bridge of Sighs is almost like a novel written inside out. Dramatic events happen in the lives of Thomaston's residents—affairs and deaths and scandals—but the novel is composed of small moments when its characters quietly step into their destinies and of the nearly ...
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