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Bridge of Sighs by Richard Russo
Bridge of Sighs finds Louis C. ("Lucy") Lynch and, Sarah, his wife of forty years planning the trip of a lifetime to Venice. They live in an old industrial upstate New York town where pollution in the local waterways is causing cancer in the residents. Lucy is writing a history of his family, growing up under a father he adored and a mother's whose business acumen allowed them to leave on the right side of town. As a teenager, he was best friends with Bobby, although they were opposites in personality; Lucy played it safe and chose family over adventure while Bobby took chances and wanted an exciting life. Sarah was attracted to both, and when she chose Lucy, Bobby set out for a new life, becoming a famous painter living in Venice. Richard Russo has written a novel that has garnered positive reviews with the Boston Globe saying, "That Russo manages to juggle so many characters, themes, places, and time periods through 528 delicious pages is an astounding achievement. From its lovely beginning to its exquisite, perfect end, Russo has written a masterpiece."