Heartwarming, Inspirational, Romantic and reminiscent of “It’s a wonderful life”, are just a few descriptors that come to mind as I reflect on “The Bridge” by Karen Kingsbury. This charming Christmas novella completely satisfies the inspirational Christmas “feel good” novel that we are all craving during the Christmas season.
As the novella opens, we meet the lovely Molly Allen and are introduced to her simple and a little lonely live in Portland, Oregon where she heads up an animal rescue shelter. It is the day after Thanksgiving, a day that she reserves for thinking on an old friend and one she hoped would be more- Ryan Kelley. Ryan is a guitar player who had just been touring with a popular country band, but as things happen in the music business, he is currently unemployed and looking for a new gig. Molly and Ryan, years ago were inseparable in their college days in Franklin, Tennessee, and although they were never technically dating per se, they had a very strong connection with each other. Because Molly’s overbearing father did not want Molly forming any attachments while she was off at college, (He wants her to come home and learn the ropes of running the family business) Molly and Ryan needed to keep up appearances that they were not involved. And so they would meet secretly in the upper room of a charming little book shop called “The Bridge”. The Bridge was run by a wonderful couple named Charlie and Donna Barton who in many ways became surrogate parents to both Molly and Ryan. Charlie and Donna poured their heart into their bookstore and especially into all their customers who entered their doors, offering help and love anyway they could. Molly and Ryan love and respect the Barton’s immensely and it is at The Bridge where their relationship continues to grow.
Sadly, because of misunderstanding and miscommunication Molly and Ryan part ways and now 8 years later they still think of each other with longing and regret. Tragedy strikes the Barton’s in a way that draws both Molly and Ryan back to the small town of Franklin to come to the Barton’s aid. Old feelings are rekindled and grace, friendship and love are prevalent in a very satisfying ending that all will enjoy.
As always Karen Kingsbury gives us great character’s that we can cheer on to overcome their obstacles through God’s love and grace. If you are in the mood for a Christmas miracle sort of story, where second chances come to life, friends rise up and come to each other’s aid and God is the author of it all, then do pick up “The Bridge” by Karen Kingsbury, you won’t be disappointed.
I received a complimentary copy of The Bridge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.