This story won the Pulitzer Prize for Thornton Wilder in 1928.
This is a fictional story that explores the lives of five strangers who die in the collapse of a rope bridge on the road from Lima to Cuzco in Peru.
Friar Juniper attempts to find answers for why they died and what purpose it served. He writes a book outlining the reasons why he thinks these five people were chosen to perish, but The Inquisition hear of his exploits and he’s condemned to be burnt at the stake.
The backstories of the five victims of the bridge collapse are extraodinarily exact and detailed and when I was reading the book all I could think of was, why did this person die and what quirk of fate lead them to be crossing the bridge?
The book ends with a character’s observation: “There is a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning.”