Mrs. Bridge by Evan S. Connell is one of the often neglected books I think should be more prominent in the list of great books to read. Mrs. Bridge is novel set in the years after World War II. It testifies to the sapping ennui of an unexamined suburban life. India Bridge, the title character, has three children and a meticulous workaholic husband. She defends her dainty, untouched guest towels from son Douglas, who has the gall to dry his hands on one, and earnestly attempts to control her daughters with pronouncements such as "Now see here, young lady ... in the morning one doesn't wear earrings that dangle." Though her life is increasingly filled with leisure and plenty, she can't shuffle off vague feelings of dissatisfaction, confusion, and futility. Mr. Connell deftly crafts Mrs. Bridge’s world so much so one can feel the soul of an intelligent woman while she's slowly suffocated by suburban life.
Since the book was first released in 1959, Mr. Connell did not have the advantages authors today have with social media. My first and most obvious choice for garnering more attention for the book would be to create an online presence by setting up a blog and social media accounts like Twitter and Facebook. Aside from those moves, I would suggest the following strategies to make Mrs. Bridge more widely read:
- Link your book with current topics. The final episodes of the series Mad Men premier in April 2015. It would be a smart move to create blog posts linking the very popular series with the novel Mrs. Bridge. The protagonist — India Bridge — makes Mad Men's Betty Draper look liberated.
- Connect with other authors. In 2009 author James Patterson discussed the influence the novel Mrs. Bridge had on his writing style. He did an interview with National Public Radio and spoke about how much he loved this narrative. It would make sense to connect with James Patterson perhaps inviting him to do a guest blog post on the book.
- Tempt your readers with more. Insert sample chapters from the next book in a series at the end of your current book to pull your readers in. Since Evan S. Connell wrote a companion book, Mr. Bridge to Mrs. Bridge, it might prove useful to include a teaser chapter to the next book.