Sunday, December 23, 2012

THE BRIDGE: A NOVEL by Karen Kingsbury

Hardcover, 258 pages
Published October 23rd 2012 by Howard Books
Genre: contemporary romance, Christian fiction, inspirational, holiday (Christmas), novella
Rating: 4.5 stars

  "How many books had passed over the counter on their way to changing a life? Even saving a life? Books could do that. […] His hope was found in books, and in novels of redemption and hope, purpose and true love. Through them God had given him a purpose. The purpose of putting books in the hands of other people like him."

Goodreads blurb
Molly Allen lives alone in Portland, but she left her heart back in Tennessee with a man she walked away from five years ago. They had a rare sort of love she hasn’t found since. Ryan Kelly lives in Nashville after a broken engagement and several years on the road touring with a country music duo. He can still hear Molly’s voice encouraging him to follow his dreams; Molly, whose memory stays with him. At least he can visit The Bridge—the oldest bookstore in historic downtown Franklin—and remember the hours he and Molly once spent there. For thirty years, Charlie and Donna Barton have run The Bridge, providing the people of middle Tennessee with coffee, conversation, and shelves of good books—even through dismal book sales and the rise of digital books. Then in May, the hundred-year flood swept through Franklin and destroyed nearly every book in the store. Now the bank is pulling the lease on The Bridge. Despondent and without answers, Charlie considers the unthinkable. Then tragedy strikes, and suddenly, everything changes. In the face of desperate brokenness and lost opportunities, could the miracle of a second chance actually unfold?

My thoughts 
This year more than ever I needed to abandon the fast lane of the shopping frenzy and crazy holiday baking, and loose myself in inspirational reads, heartwarming messages of love and hope...the world needs more lovers, more storytellers and more readers, if you ask me.
Karen Kingsbury's novella is a lovely Christmas confection. Charlie's character, his shattered dreams and desperation really touched my heart. I found the lead couple's love story to be extremely poignant in its simplicity: rich highbrow girl from California meets small-town boy from Mississippi. Fate (and her father) keep them separate for quite a long time, until fate (and God, the giver of second chances) bring them together again, for good. It sounds like an Hallmark channel movie and it could easily be one. Such a pity the final chapter ended abruptly: had the author stretched it a few more pages, the novella would have been just perfect. All in all, this inspirational story made my heart flutter and wish for more.

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