Review: The Bridge

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?

In this novel we follow the connected story of four characters – Molly Allen, Ryan Kelly and Charlie & Donna Barton.  Charlie and Donna own and run a bookstore called The Bridge, where Molly and Ryan spent a lot of their free time at during their first two years of college.  They were inseparable, to the point where Charlie and Donna were convinced they’d be married someday.

But then Molly left.

Ryan never knew why.

Now it’s years later.  Molly is running a successful branch of her father’s business, Ryan has toured the country as the lead guitarist of a famous country singer, and Charlie and Donna are trying to keep The Bridge alive after a flood completely wipes out the inside of their store.

The story of Molly and Ryan was one that is going to stay on my heart for some time.  Call me a sucker, but I love a good story of two long-lost soul mates reuniting after a number of years have passed.  I also enjoyed reading from the perspectives of Charlie and Donna and learning about their backgrounds and connection to Molly and Ryan.  Like me, they were rooting for the two to get together when they were in college.

This was my first ever Karen Kingsbury book that I’ve read.  My mom had told me she’s a great Christian-fiction writer and I can see why.  This book brought tears to my eyes a number of times and at the same time warmed my heart.  It was refreshing to read a book that focuses on the faith of the characters and their relationship with God as well as each other.  I’m actually currently reading another book of hers and I can tell you I will continue to read more books by her.  She’s definitely becoming one of my favorite authors.

One last note is that I fell in love with the bookstore their story revolves around, to the point that it makes me wish there was a small, homey bookstore just like The Bridge in my town.  I guess I’ll just have to settle for opening one with my mom someday.

Anyway, I definitely recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a heartwarming story.

Rating: 5/5 stars

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