Reviewer Conny Withay:Operating her own business in office management since 1991, Conny is an avid reader, volunteers reading the Bible to the elderly, and makes handmade jewelry. A cum laude graduate with a degree in art living in the Pacific Northwest, she is married with two sons, two daughter-in-laws, and one granddaughter.
Author: Francine Rivers
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
“Oh, what have I done? She wrapped her arms around herself, breathing shallowly through the pain. What would Pastor Zeke think? And Joshua? Oh, Joshua, if you could see me now. A mocking tune played in her head. She’d burn the bridge to Haven long ago,” Abra ponders in Francine River’s novel, Bridge to Haven.
This four hundred and eighty-one page hardbound book targets those who enjoy romance with relational conflicts and forgiveness. With two minor slang words, topics of premarital sex, alcohol use, and abuse make the Christian read inappropriate for immature readers. The ending includes a discussion guide with eighteen questions.
In this lengthy tome that starts in 1936 in the small town of Haven, California, a scared woman gives birth to a baby girl, abandoning her under the town’s bridge, hoping she will be found.
As Pastor Zeke Freeman hears the struggling cries, he rescues the child, taking her home to live with his wife and five year old son, Joshua. When his wife dies several years later, Zeke has no other choice than to let the Matthews raise the little girl named Abra he has learned to love.
However, Abra Matthews feels unloved and unwanted by her foster family, always wondering if she was to blame for Zeke’s wife’s death. In the teen years, her insecurity and guilt overshadow her strained relationships.
When suave and self-absorbed Dylan Stark pours his attention on her, the seventeen year old naïve woman willingly flees with him to San Francisco, expecting a life of love and loyalty. Going to Los Angeles to live with his controlling mother in the movie industry, he becomes more abusive and dominating.
Tired of his girlfriend, Dylan makes a bet with a movie agent to take the under-aged girl off his hands. The power-hungry man convinces Abra her beauty will make her famous, grooming her to be an actress and changing her name to Lena Scott.
After five years of being in the spotlight, away from Haven, Abra must decide if she wants to keep acting as Lena or be true to herself and find God’s purpose in her life, even if it means going back to her past.
With tragedies, temptations, and twists, readers get caught up in a tale of learning love and forgiveness by others and God. Although Abra feels she has burned her bridges, Rivers leaves a surprising bridge to a sequel.
Thanks to Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. for furnishing this book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s opinions.