Karen Kingsbury delivers a heartfelt Christmas story about second chances in The Bridge. Charlie and Donna have run The Bridge in Franklin, Tennessee, for decades, treating each patron as family and creating a safe haven for readers. After a 100 year flood, the bookstore is destroyed, and Charlie and Donna are on the brink of closing the store. When Ryan Kelly hears of the bookstore’s fate, he starts a campaign to save The Bridge, where he fell in love for the first and only time. Will giving The Bridge a second change also give him a second chance with the Molly, the girl who got away?
The Bridge reminds me of Kingsbury’s Red Glove series: a heartwarming love story featuring a young couple torn apart by family expectations, an older couple bound together by trials, and the love of Jesus that gives never gives up.
Told from all four main characters’ points of view, I felt the character development was lacking, especially at the beginning where the characters were just reminiscing about the past and kept repeating the same feelings over and over. Having a little more action and the past told throughout the story would have made me love the characters from the beginning. However, once the entire background story is told, the pace picks up, and through their actions, the characters become just as endearing as I pictured their bookstore to be. I love Charlie and Donna. Their love for one another and for the readers in their town was beautiful, and I wish there had been a book about their love story and how they built their business. Ryan and Molly are likeable characters as well and provide a nice balance to Donna and Charlie’s story.
Living in a huge city like Houston, I’ve never had a bookstore that was more than just a place to buy a book. This book made me long to visit a small town and see if a place like this really exists. The librarian in me hopes it does. Karen did such a great writing about the actual store that it almost felt like a fifth character and probably my favorite one of all.
I know a lot of Karen’s readers were disappointed with her last couple of books (me included). I hope they’ll give this book a chance because it seems like a return to the style/topic that fans have come to expect from Karen’s books.
I received this book in exchange for my review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.