Monday, January 12, 2015

Alexander's Bridge

By Willa Cather

Alexander’s bridge is the first novel by Willa Cather, and is an amazing story about a successful engineer and his simultaneous romantic relationships with two brilliant and capable women. Alexander’s Bridge is an intelligent exploration of morality, ethics, and dualities.

Having studied Willa Cather in a university course, I knew that this was her first novel and that she professed to hate it and feel very embarrassed about it. I was actually interested in reading it because of this. I wondered how her first novel would compare with her later masterpieces. While reading I could see the still-forming style that she would later come to perfect, which made the story seem a bit watery. Alexander is a complicated fellow that falls into the trap of boredom with his home life so he takes on a young lover while abroad. His lover is actually a girl he knew from his youth and his first love, but when Alexander realizes that she is more like a drug to his mid-life crisis, and that he has done something unspeakable to his loyal wife, he determines never to see her again. Alexander is a bridge builder, and the bridge metaphor plays out at the end of the story. It was interesting to read this first work and see the raw version of her later solidified style.

I give it a 3 out of 5- average

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