Karen has a way with story. That’s why she’s number one in inspirational fiction. With all my other time constraints, I haven’t read her work in at least a year, maybe two. But when this story came along about books and a bookstore, I was intrigued. Who doesn't love the cozy setting of a store full of books?
Let’s begin with the summary:
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?
The Bridge is a love story set against the struggle of the American bookstore, a love story you will never forget.
And now, my review:
These characters immediately felt familiar, like friends. And we certainly shared the love of books. I did feel the slant went a bit too far toward printed books and the opening note's comments against e-books were a bit much. Like a worship of books—which is too extreme. I love books too, but it’s story that captivates me. And e-books on e-readers are just as engaging and a lot more convenient.
That aside, I liked our main character and I felt for him as his family-owned bookstore faced closing after a flood. His dreams were suddenly on the chopping block and for the business to close meant he’d failed—fulfilling his father’s hateful words that he’d never amount to anything. He can’t let that happen, but he may not have a choice.
I liked that this book was a novella; it read fast. I like that it was set in late fall and winter, including Christmastime.
(hardcover) (e-book version)