The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder won the Pulitzer Prize in 1927. This slim little book is about five people who were killed in a bridge collapse in Peru. A local monk, Brother Juniper, who witnessed the collapse, wonders why those five, and he sets out to try to discover the reasoning behind why some people live and some people die.
Part of my brain really wanted him to find an answer to this question because as humans when we lose a loved one, we want to know why, but my logical side knows that there is not a reason that we can understand in our lifetime.
I enjoyed this book because Wilder used many words that I didn't know, so every page or so, I had to stop and look up a word. I love books that build my vocabulary. He tells the story in a way that makes you care about the characters. He also makes the reader think - a common trait of Pulitzer winners.
This little 123 page book ends with some of the most beautiful words. "But soon we shall die and all memory of those five will have left the earth, and we ourselves shall be loved for a while and forgotten. But the love will have been enough all those impulses of love return to the love that made them. Even memory is not necessary for love. There is a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning" (123).
Link to our NICU book registry if you'd like to donate books to babies in the newborn intensive care unit so their parents can read to them while they grow. You can also donate gently used books to our project by sending them to me or to Angie. Email me for a mailing address. We are in need of Spanish books at this time, especially board books. We can always use both English and Spanish books. If you have a graduate of the NICU, or if you have a baby whose life you would like to honor by donating books to this project, let me know, and I can make a book plate with their name for the book you donate.
Read to a child today even if that child is you.