Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

The Bridge Ladies by Betsy Lerner

Sally Sparrow, our wonderful editor and Jill of all trades gave me an Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) of a book called The Bridge Ladies, a memoir by Betsy Lerner, published by Harper Collins in May 2016.

This is not a Master Point Press book and it is not really about bridge. But I did find it interesting. 

When I was growing up my mom and dad played bridge with their neighbors. I was asleep at the time but my mom tells me that dad was a very good player. 

My father (like me) was very competitive and he quit playing when he decided I had surpassed him as a bridge player. 

My mom kept on playing. She played with a small group of women who would gather at one of their houses. Each week they would throw some money in a kitty. Half of the money went to the winner but the rest was saved. Eventually mom and her group used the money they had saved for years to go on a cruise.

This book is about a group of ladies who like my mother gathered to play bridge regularly. This tells the story not of their bridge games but of their lives. It is the story of middle class American Jewish women, the mothers of the 50’s and 60’s. It is the story of my mother too.

Betsy has a nice way with words and I enjoyed reading about these women. Now I can picture my mom and her friends from an adult perspective. 

I did go to a few of my mom’s bridge games some years ago. It was held in the home of an wealthy widow on Toronto’s ritzy Bridal Path. I remember trying to explain how to play xxx opposite AJ9. I remember trying to convince them not to hop up with the ace when declarer led to KJx. You get the idea.

But I never really knew their stories. This book gave me an insight into a similar group of ladies.

Don’t expect a “bridge book” but this is still a book with a lot to say about a group of ladies in a certain time and place.

1 Comment

Joe BuddJune 27th, 2016 at 4:02 pm

Linda..I read your doubts on “restricted choice” and suggest you read the comment I just posted at Bob MacKinnon’s blog. You were so very much on the right track…And there are many facts I know refuting RC other than what I wrote there.

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