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Mango Bridge Club
Bridge players are a strange, obsessed bunch. So, at least, think the fruit bats that hang upside down in the mango trees outside Mango Bridge Club, observing with incredulity as the seniors stare at bits of cardboard and appear to derive from this activity their own peculiar brand of grim pleasure.
No wonder. The bridge club is their life. It is the reason they get up in the morning, the reason they go to bed without despair. But the elderly members soon find their beloved club under attack from destructive forces both within and without. The warring committee is bent on achieving absolutely nothing, and the club faces a threat from a dodgy shire councillor and his ally – a nosy neighbor and erotic robot inventor. Add to the mix the odd explosive bridge player not too happy with partner’s play, a badly behaved octogenarian, and an unlikely romance between the obnoxious club president and a neurotic newcomer, and the members of Mango Bridge Club find themselves with dilemmas fit only for super sleuth bridge players.
Annette Robyn Corkhill is a novelist, poet, linguist and translator.
Mango Bridge Club is her second novel. Her first was a humorous, co-authored bridge novel-cum-manual, Mabel and Mary’s Light Bulb Bridge, which appeared in 2014.
Her poems have been published in anthologies and poetry magazines, and she is the author of two books on Australian migrant writing: The Immigrant Experience in Australian Literature, and Australian Writing: Ethnic Writers 1945-1991.
Annette has been playing bridge for over 30 years. Mango Bridge Club adopts the gently satirical and persuasively indulgent perspective of an insider well acquainted with the many peculiarities of the game and its players.
Annette is now retired from her translation business and free to pursue her passions for writing, singing, travel, foreign languages and cultures, and of course, bridge.
Review by Heather Osborne for Readers' Favorite (5 stars)
Mango Bridge Club by Annette Corkhill is the humorous chronicle of the bridge club of the same name in the town of Mango. Along with a litany of other problems, bridge club president Daniel Haywood is about to contend with a councillor who wants to sell off the bridge club property to developers. With deals taking place behind closed doors, it seems bleak for the club members and their beloved game. Add in a host of colorful characters, a few disgruntled neighbors, and some confused animals, and the reader is left wondering what will happen to this eclectic group of bridge players.
I have to say when I started, I was slightly skeptical about reading a novel about a bridge club. However, I was dead wrong. I loved every character and crazy escapade of Mango Bridge Club. Miss Corkhill has created a unique storyline, and one can imagine people like those from the novel exist in real life! I loved the inner dialogue of all the characters, including the animals! It was a unique treat to giggle at the poor life of Bubbles 15 or Bear’s straightforward mindset. I would definitely recommend this novel to anyone who wants a laugh. I especially liked Daniel and Emily, and the little girl Ella. She added a bit of childlike wonder to the entire crazy situation facing the bridge club. Mango Bridge Club by Annette Corkhill was a joy to read and review, and I hope she intends to write a sequel, so we can hear more about the adventures of this crazy bridge club!
Reviewed by Tracy Slowiak for Readers' Favorite (5 stars)
Oh my! What a fun book I just finished! Mango Bridge Club: Double Dealing by author Annette Corkhill is simply a funny and delightful story that will have readers engrossed from the very start, as well as in stitches of laughter throughout. Follow the story of the members of the titular Mango Bridge Club as they plow through the various intricacies of their lives and the life of the club, now under siege by forces coming both from the inside and the outside. Delightful character studies abound, with the many and varied personalities that undoubtedly come from a club setting in which members have only one real interest that draws them together: the love of bridge. Club president, Daniel, regrets for the umpteenth time taking on the role, especially with its $0 salary and gift of constant stress, but when a beautiful newcomer comes to town, he realizes his luck just might be changing. And that's just one intrigue that this extremely entertaining read has to offer. If you want to find out more, you'll need to read the book! I so enjoyed Mango Bridge Club: Double Dealing. Author Annette Corkhill obviously comes from a background in playing bridge, as her hilarious stories could only come from one who has experienced the game fully. Any reader who enjoys bridge, humorous fiction, or just an enjoyable read in general, should absolutely pick up this book as soon as possible! I highly recommend it, and look forward to reading more from the talented highly recommend it, and look forward to reading more from the talented author, Annette Corkhill, as soon as possible!
Reviewed by Chris Fischer for Readers' Favorite (5 stars)
Mango Bridge Club: Double Dealing, a new offering by author Annette Corkhill, had me laughing almost from the beginning and turning the pages obsessively throughout. As a person who enjoys a good game of bridge as much as the next guy, this book tickled my fancy more than I could have ever imagined. Detailing the exploits of the members of the Mango Bridge Club, from the crotchety old sticklers all the way to the intriguing new gal in town, the story line follows the various challenges and foibles that the club and the members face. In this laugh out loud funny read, any reader who has enjoyed a good game of bridge, or belonged to a club of any sort, will certainly be able to recognize these characters in those that they know and either love or love to hate. Mango Bridge Club: Double Dealing was one of the most fun and funniest books that I have come across in a long while. Author Annette Corkhill has done a fantastic job in creating hilarious and believable characters and scenarios that will make any reader chuckle. It's very easy for me to highly recommend this book to any lover of fiction, but perhaps even more to aficionados of the game of bridge. I am hopeful that author Annette Corkhill will continue the stories of these wonderful characters in upcoming new releases. I will be keeping my eyes peeled for exactly that!
Reviewed by Marta Tandori for Readers' Favorite (5 stars)
Mango Bridge Club is a humorous – and highly addictive – tale written by talented author Annette Corkhill about a social club called Mango Bridge Club and some of its quirky, bridge-crazed-playing members. Mango Bridge Club, located in Mango, a central Queensland mining town, has very little going for it. The modest building is surrounded by mango trees and is overrun by fruit bats that think nothing of splattering members with the compromised fruit when they least expect it. With its air conditioning on its last legs, there’s very little about the club that anyone would actually find appealing, yet it’s the epicenter for 110 demanding, arrogant, conceited, egocentric and oftentimes intolerable bridge-crazed members who would happily sleep there if it meant they could play bridge just that little bit longer.
The club president is Daniel Haywood, a moody and despondent man since the death of his wife, who feels he gets no support from his team and only grief from members like Henry Fotherby, President of the Board for Clean Green Coal Mining, a pompous bridge-crazed know-it-all, who thinks nothing of skimming the profits from his company and awarding himself huge bonuses. Things nevertheless begin to look up when beautiful Emily Maddison and her four-year-old daughter, Emma, move into town from Brisbane. Nurse Emily is eager to put her cheating exhusband and unhappy life behind her as she eagerly takes up residence at the Mango Bridge Club, and slowly finds her way into Daniel’s heart. However, Daniel’s hopes for a promising romance take a back seat to the However, Daniel’s hopes for a promising romance take a back seat to the far more serious problem that looms on the horizon – the town wants the land the club is sitting on and suddenly Daniel has his hands full, facing off against an unscrupulous councilman.
Annette Corkhill writes a story that is both humorous and infectious, supported in no small part by a band of colorfully-named characters like Maud Duckworton, Tootem Canyon, Charles Bellyfog and Professor Olaf Sandersen - Head of the Department of English, Applied Linguistics, History, Classics, Modern Languages and German Translation at Mango University - as well as local businesses like The Contented Cooling Company and Dunnies Downunder. The author has an uncanny knack for witty dialogue and describing settings without making it seem obvious so that the reader is effortlessly entrenched in the daily lives of the members of the Mango Bridge Club. And while those lives appear to be colloquial and innocuous at the outset, peel away the outer shell for some, like Daniel’s moody demeanor and sullen bark, and there exist loneliness and vulnerability at his core, universal traits in all of us, making it a story that is sure to resonate for many on more than one level. Fruit bats and possums aside, and even if you’ve never played a hand of bridge in your life, take the plunge and head Down Under to the town of Mango and its quirky citizens. I promise you, you’ll be glad you did!