Review: The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge by David McCullough

How often do you cry when reading nonfiction?

Yeah. I was crying last night.

I wanted to know more about My Bridge. I wanted to know more about Emily Roebling. Info needed for The Upstairs Girl revisions, because I knew it was a worthwhile story. It made sense to read this, right? But it’s 608 pages so a girl’s gonna skim, right?


This big ol’ book don’t let you skim. And you don’t have to know anything about engineering to follow it. Even though the idea of a caisson still blows my mind.
I took this out at the library. I started reading. I ended up reading the last part via a copy at Barnes & Noble last night.

I finished it.

I cried. At Barnes & Noble.

There’s conflict on every page. There’s conflict at every turn. I even knew how it ended: I read the last page years ago when I walked across that incredible piece of work, but I still was yanked in because I was as emotionally invested in the story as the Roeblings. That bridge was Wash’s heart.

And Wash’s heart was Emily’s soul.


And forevermore I’ll scowl at the mention of Seth Low, who previously I found rather ambiguous and benign. Now he’s just another sodding, opportunistic, antagonistic politician to me. That’s some good writing, to make me all growly at someone whose name is on a rather cool building.
You’ll be hearing more about this story. I love this story.