This is a memoir about a group of ladies who have met every Monday for lunch and bridge for more than fifty years. One of these ladies is Roz, Betsy Lerner’s mother. As a teenager, Betsy can remember the ladies coming over to their house to play bridge and feeling dismissive of their lifestyles. These were all Jewish ladies who had married well, dressed well, took care of themselves and their greatest achievement was raising their families. Betsy was part of the sex-drugs-and-rock n’ roll generation and thought that her mother and her friends were boring and old fashioned. Certainly compared to the 60’s and 70’s, they were old fashioned and it was a difficult time for them to adjust to the changing morals and attitudes of the time.
Several decades later Betsy’s father is deceased and her mother, Roz, requires surgery. Betsy moves in with her for a period of time to assist and reconnects with the bridge ladies. By this time Betsy is in her 50’s and is more forgiving and understanding. She becomes curious about the ladies and starts to wonder what their dreams were as young women and if they had been happy in their marriages, etc. She starts to learn bridge and becomes a regular at their Monday sessions.
I think Betsy, for a long time, had been looking for a way to connect with her mother. Betsy described Roz as always being critical of Betsy’s appearance, how she behaved, her choices, etc. and what normally would be a normal conversation between mother and daughter was usually fraught with tension and misunderstandings. With Betsy learning bridge and spending part of every Monday with these ladies, she was able to start to build a bridge between her mother and herself and begin to understand and see things a little more from her mother’s point of view.
I enjoyed this memoir and give it four stars out of five on Goodreads.