Study Guide

Bridget in Life After Life

Bridget

Maid to Order

The Todds' young housemaid, Bridget, is fourteen in 1910, when Ursula is born. It's easy to forget that, since she has so many responsibilities. Sylvie often treats Bridget as though she's a flighty ditz, even though the reality is that Bridget is a young teenager, and only a few years younger than Sylvie.

Although Bridget is often the comic relief, she isn't without her share of tragedy. She has a crush on George Glover, but ends up in a relationship with Sam Wellington, the "old boot" (6.128), as he is almost always called, Wellingtons being a popular type of boot.

The old boot—the guy, not the footwear—later dies in World War I, so Bridget shifts her affections to Clarence Dodds, a man who wears a mask made of tin and is very sweet, calling almost everything "a thing of beauty" (9.27). Sylvie shows herself to be surprisingly generous and modest when she gives Bridget an expensive ring because Clarence can't afford an engagement ring, playing the gift off as "just a trinket" (9.7).

In one of the timelines, Bridget gets the Spanish flu, which spreads to Ursula. In later attempts, Ursula tries to stop Bridget from going to Armistice Day celebrations, where she gets infected, by leaving her fake notes and pushing her down the stairs. Unfortunately, Bridget still gets ill, and keeps on infecting the Todds. Eventually Ursula remedies this, but no matter what, Clarence always dies, leaving Bridget heartbroken again.

In most timelines, she returns to Ireland during WWI, saying, "I have never felt at home in this country" (25.97). Maybe it's just that she never felt at home with the Todds.