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Alexander's Bridge

Willa Sibert Cather

Book Overview: 

Bartley Alexander is a construction engineer and world-renowned builder of bridges going through a mid-life crisis. Although married to his wife Winifred, Bartley resumes his acquaintance with a former lover, Hilda Burgoyne, in London. The affair proves to gnaw at Bartley’s sense of propriety and honor.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Blinking up at the lights, Mainhall added in his luxurious, worldly way: "She's an elegant little person, and quite capable of an extravagant bit of sentiment like that. Here comes Sir Harry Towne. He's another who's awfully keen about her. Let me introduce you. Sir Harry Towne, Mr. Bartley Alexander, the American engineer."

Sir Harry Towne bowed and said that he had met Mr. Alexander and his wife in Tokyo.

Mainhall cut in impatiently.

"I say, Sir Harry, the little girl's going famously to-night, isn't she?"

Sir Harry wrinkled his brows judiciously. "Do you know, I thought the dance a bit conscious to-night, for the first time. The fact is, she's feeling rather seedy, poor child. Westmere and I were back after the first act, and we thought she seemed quite uncertain of herself. A little attack of nerves, possibly."

He bowed as the warning bell rang, and Mainhall whispered: "You know Lord Westmere, of course,—t. . . Read More

Community Reviews

A man is caught between the marriage of his adulthood and the love affair from his youth, loving both and realizing having both is not possible. The bridge can be an obvious metaphor but instead of the usual symbol overshadowed by the divisions it joins or the obstacles it crosses, there was some ac

Being an engineer, I don't really know how that feels since I am a beginner—I didn't even get my first job in my field—and I don't have much experience; nonetheless, the protagonist of this story knows that feeling, and he seems to be a good engineer, you can tell.

I must confess that I just came acr

’The sun sank rapidly; the silvery light had faded from the bare boughs and the watery twilight was setting in when Wilson at last walked down the hill, descending into cooler and cooler depths of grayish shadow.’

This is a relatively short story, but is shared with such lovely, picturesque images t

This is Willa Cather’s first novel and it is truly impressive—not because being first it is relatively good, but because it is very good. There’s a difference! Authors' first novels are often some of the best. This is true here.

Alexander's Bridge captures the pull of love and how one can love diffe

Me ha gustado mucho, a pesar de que la propia Willa Cather en el prólogo (que en esta edición aparece como epílogo) admite que no le parece tan buena, pues fue su primera novela, y está mucho más satisfecha con cómo le salió "Pioneros", publicada un año después.

Sí admito que la historia no tiene nad

It is scientifically proven that Willa Cather is my favorite ever, so I took the opportunity over winter break to read this little gem. For a variety of reasons, I have stacks and stacks of books that I want to read because I think they will be terrible, or because someone recommended them to me so

Lo he leído en inglés y mi nivel no es muy allá así que me habré perdido un montón de matices pero aun así la historia en sí me ha gustado mucho.
Es la primera obra de la autora y aunque es muy cortita tiene ese estilo que tanto me gusta de ella.

Relectura en castellano. Me sigue pareciendo increíble

Rating: 2* of five

It's vintage romantic fiction with a definite twist of Cather. That's not enough, I'm afraid, to overcome the mundane mid-life crisis/affair plot's unimaginative development. Strictly formulaic, and the characters were stock characters, and the settings...Canada? London?...weren't

In 2014, I enjoyed O Pioneers! (the first book of Willa Cather's The Great Plains Trilogy) so much that this year I decided to read Alexander's Bridge in honour of her December birthday. This remarkable story is an impressive first novel which exhibits, for a young author, a surprisingly mature unde

In the preface to this edition Willa Cather writes, "Alexander's Bridge was my first novel, and does not deal with the kind of subject-matter in which I now find myself most at home." She spends the rest of the preface apologising for its existence. I feel Cather is far too tough on herself for this

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