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The Bridge by Karen Kingsbury

Title:  The Bridge
Author:  Karen Kingsbury                                                                                                              
Pages:  272
Year:  2012
Publisher:  Howard
     The Bridge is a small town type story that involves a bookstore unique to the community of Franklin.  It is located around other small town type shops where people don’t just purchase a book, but a place where hearts are touched.  Charlie is the owner who has been running the store out of a home with history dating back to the Civil War.  He furnishes it with shelves of books, a loft with a sofa and chair, and the coffee pot is always on.  More than those things, Charlie invests himself and shares his faith with all who come into the bookstore.  Whether they buy books or not, he remembers the people for they are more than customers to Charlie and his wife, Donna.  When he opened the store, he was given a scrapbook to fill with memories from his customers with pictures of some holding their favorite book and some of their signatures.  Charlie doesn’t really need the scrapbook to remember.  What he needs is the Lord to provide a way to keep the store going after a flood wipes everything away in two days.  How will God provide?  Books have meaning, not just in the story but because of what they represent.  What do they represent to you?
     Ever since Charlie was little he heard the same demeaning message from his father.  He decided he would prove he could do something.  After marrying Donna, he was cut off from his family and their money, but he didn’t care because he was happy.  He was content even through heartbreak years before.  He was really at an end because he feels no hope.  Ryan and Molly shared their love of classics at the bookstore with their favorite being Jane Eyre.  They, too, had a forbidden love that grew out of their friendship, but Molly’s Dad would never allow it.  He had her life all planned out and marriage to Ryan was not part of the plan as Ryan didn’t come from their social or financial class.
     Now seven years have passed, and the bookstore is on the brink of closure.  Ryan wakes up one morning to find himself no longer employed with a band as a guitarist.  Molly is taking care of animals, and her sole companion is the one video she had that Ryan made.  One time a year she allows herself to travel into the past and watch that video, crying as it plays.  Charlie found hope in books long ago while living with his father.  Molly longingly wants to go back and change things, and maybe then life would be better.  Charlie believes in God, but Molly doesn’t find God or His Word all that comforting.
     Characters living with past hurts, trying to cope in the present and not quite sure what is in the future are depicted in this novel.  The story is a nice breath of hope, reminding one and all where true hope resides.  We aren’t made to be alone; we all need friends regardless of marital or social status.  Karen writes a heartfelt dedication to each of her children inside the book before the fictional part starts.  The Bridge is a work of fiction that can touch hearts with love, hope, forgiveness, and faith.
     My rating is 4 stars.                                                                                   
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at .  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at
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