I’ve just read this wonderful book by Thornton Wilder, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1928. It’s a beautifully written account of a priest who is searching for the answers to why God chooses certain people for disaster/pain/suffering….or whether such things are just accidents. In other words, “Why did this happen to those five people?..Either we live by accident and die by accident, or we live by plan and die by plan.” In the larger sense, Wilder poses the central question of all mankind: Why do we exist?
Thornton Wilder deftly leads us into an infatuation with each character. We see them through the eyes of a narrator who sits by our shoulder quietly sharing each detail of the character’s psychological, emotional and spiritual makeup. Then, just as they seem very dear to us, they are quite abruptly gone. The bridge snatches their lives from us, as it did from the association of all the other earthly beings they knew.
This is a perfectly beautiful book. Every word is a treasure of meaning. Every sentence is telling, and epiphanies abound. It is well worth a read on a quiet weekend, and well worth a good conversation over wine, cheese and crackers with a friend whose mind and spirit you respect.
I see that it’s been made into a DVD, as I’ve shown above. Now that I’ve read the book, I’ll be curious to see how DeNiro and Bates work some magic with it!!
Thanks for stopping by. I’d love to read any comments you have, if you’ve read it or are thinking about reading it!