Hi everyone! Sorry for a lot of gaps in posting over the past few days! I had a great long weekend by spending time with five different friends and seven family members over three days. A little crazy, but so much fun. Today I’m going to share about a book I enjoyed over the summer, Bridge to Haven by Francine Rivers.
Set in the 1950s, Bridge to Haven follows Abra Matthews from small town Haven, California to Hollywood. Life had not been kind to Abra. Her mother abandoned her, her adopted mother died, and her adopted father gave her away to another family (one with a mom, dad, and sister, which he thought would be more healthy than just an adopted father and brother). All this unfolded before Abra was even six, and she never felt at home with her imperfect families who only wanted the best for her. Fast forward to the teenage years, when a mysterious boy shows up. When he asks Abra to run away with him, she agrees, and through a series of very unfortunate events, she ended up in Hollywood. There she has to count the cost of being a rising star, and she doesn’t realize how hard it is to get out.
One thing I appreciate about Francine Rivers is the scope of her novels. She takes the time to tell the whole story. Have you ever read a book and began getting nervous towards the end because there’s not enough pages for everything to happen that needs to happen? This is definitely not one of these books. You get to read about Abra from childhood all the way past marraige, and admittedly the book is very fat, but it actually took me less than a week to fly through it. It wasn’t overwhelming at all; sorry if I’m making it seem like that! As an obsessed reader, a fat book with a page-turning story is gold (thank you, J. K. Rowlings).
“If you are looking for a sweet little Christian romance with a mild theme of redemption, you’d better look elsewhere. Bridge to Haven is one of the edgiest Christian romances I have had the pleasure of reading in a long while. Francine Rivers has woven a deeply moving story with an adept hand that knows just how to layer humanity, in all its beautiful and ugly truth, into almost every individual who steps onto the page. This story takes Abra to some very dark places before a pinprick of hope breaks through.”
(USA today review, which can write things way more compellingly than I can).
This book is written from a Christian perspective, but I didn’t feel that the message was in-your-face at all except for one teeny passage at the end, which I actually enjoyed because it was sweet too. The story was very real as Abra gets into some of the less-than-sparkly of Hollywood: too long dance rehearsals, abusive contracts, sham weddings, and being loved by everyone but still feeling vulnerable in front of the camera. However, as characteristic in Christian fiction, it ended with optimisticly.
Speaking of endings, the only thing that took away from this amazing story was certain characters during the concluding chapters. One I saw coming from the early chapters, and (spoiler/hint!!!!!!!) that was a certain romantic interest who, um, was at one point related to the character. *cough*. I was kind of really repulsed by that aspect (in the book it’s not discussed. My friends who read it didn’t even think it was weird), but ultimately the story and another brilliant reveal at the end more than made up for it. No matter if a Christian 1950s contemporary/romance would appeal to you or not, I highly recommend you try it! I wasn’t sure about it when I added it to my library queue, but I was soon swept up in a courageous story that became a favorite from the summer.
Recommended to people who like: actually-human female leads, many paged and big story novels, contemporary
I don’t know if book reviews are going to become a once a week thing now, but that’s what’s been happening for the past couple of weeks. Do you like them or would you like more of different types of posts? If you ever have any suggestions to read or review, please let me know in the comments! (: