|Plot Summary of The Bridge of San Luis Rey|
|"In 1714 in Peru a famous suspension footbridge spanning a deep gorge near Lima snaps and five peoplefall into the depths below. The story is told from the aftermath of the accident which is witnessed by Brother Juniper, a Franciscan friar. He is haunted by the question: why these five—why now? Is it Fate, is it Destiny? He feels that there must be some underlying explanation for their demise and that he should be able to find it out. The famous quotation from the book comes early on:
'Either we live by accident and die by accident, or we live by plan and die by plan.'
Perhaps these people lived especially bad lives and deserved to die. Perhaps they were especially saintly and called heavenward. Brother Juniper sets out to investigate their lives and write a book which he is convinced will be famous for its explanation of these things. Unfortunately he is surprised by the Spanish Inquisition, who wish to burn him with his book.
The book describes the people who were killed in detail. There is a rich and lonely old Marquesa who spends her time drunk or composing brilliant and elaborate letters to her daughter in Spain. There is Esteban, the poor orphan twin who is left alone and bereft in an uncomprehending world after his brother dies. Uncle Pio is a wanderer, a man of great talents who can mix in high society and spy for the aristocracy as easily as be a theatrical agent: he has a love of all beautiful women and a horror of succeeding at anything. Little Jaime is the youngest and sickliest child of the great actress Camila Perichole, and he is travelling with Uncle Pio. Lastly there is little Pepita, an orphan girl in her teenage years who is being groomed for leadership by the progressive Abbess to take over the work of running the women's refuge. Perhaps the only thing they all have in common is a haunting loneliness. It can only end in irony: far from solving the mystery Brother Juniper's efforts only deepen it."
Michael JR Jose, Resident Scholar
|Review Analysis of The Bridge of San Luis Rey|
Our unique search engine provides a wealth of detail about books by breaking them down into many different literary elements, all of which are searchable (click here).
Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Tone of book?
Time/era of story
- 17th century
- nature of existence (heavy philosophy)
Is this an adult or child's book?
- Adult or Young Adult Book
- religious figure
Is this an ordinary person caught up in events?
How sensitive is this character?
- sensitive to others' feelings
Sense of humor
- Mostly serious with occasional humor
- Smarter than most other characters
- average physique
How much of work is main antagonist actually present in:
- throughout most of the book.
How much descriptions of surroundings?
- 4 ()
The Americas (not US):
- fancy mansion
- mostly 3rd
Accounts of torture and death?
- generic/vague references to death/punishment
- a lot of flashback and forwards
- No single main character?
Amount of dialog
- significantly more descript than dialog
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Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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