The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder



‘Either we live by accident and die by accident, or we live by plan and die by plan.’

“On Friday noon, July the twentieth, 1714, the finest bridge in all Peru broke and precipitated five travelers into the gulf below.”

By chance, a monk witnesses the tragedy. Brother Juniper then embarks on a quest to prove it was divine intervention rather than chance that led to the deaths of those who perished in the tragedy. His search leads to his own death — and to the author’s timeless investigation into the nature of love and the meaning of the human condition.

A powerful story of out of something tragic, comes something joyous. Five lives lost through a terrible calamity. All varying backgrounds, all delicately connected, the shared traits all the victims demonstrated – loneliness, longing and unrequited love felt profoundly. The affecting message is not the WHY of the unexplainable incident but HOW can goodness be salvaged from such random devastation. A metamorphosis launches.

The provoking conclusion knits the entire narrative together, examining what was lost and how to build more out of what was. Unresolved relationships didn’t have to be, the ones left behind pull themselves from the aftermath and refuse to let the past overshadow what will be, what should have been, what is. The mighty Phoenix rises from the ashes.

“There is a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning.”

Published April 15th 2003 by Harper Perennial Modern Classics
Pages 160
ISBN13: 9780060088873

Recommendation: 4/5


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