Customer Reviews


721 Reviews
5 star:
 (522)
4 star:
 (114)
3 star:
 (56)
2 star:
 (18)
1 star:
 (11)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A SWEEPING TALE OF LOVE, FORGIVENESS & REDEMPTION!
Francine Rivers' new larger-than-life novel, Bridge to Haven, is a powerful and intense story of a seventeen-year-old girl who is unable to get a grip on her life. Rebellious, she has been struggling all through her young life, physically and emotionally. Her life in the small town is filled with boring study, mundane chores and practicing the piano, and she is stiff...
Published 3 months ago by Online Book Reviews

versus
29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not this one
I have deeply enjoyed reading Ms. Rivers other stories. I have several of them on my shelf and they are among the few books that I have reread over the years. I usually only read a book once. This book, however, is different than the others. I am glad I didn't purchase it and instead checked it out from our local library.

The story centers on Abra, a baby...
Published 3 months ago by Anne


‹ Previous | 1 273 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A SWEEPING TALE OF LOVE, FORGIVENESS & REDEMPTION!, April 6, 2014
This review is from: Bridge to Haven (Audio CD)
Francine Rivers' new larger-than-life novel, Bridge to Haven, is a powerful and intense story of a seventeen-year-old girl who is unable to get a grip on her life. Rebellious, she has been struggling all through her young life, physically and emotionally. Her life in the small town is filled with boring study, mundane chores and practicing the piano, and she is stiff tired. She believes Haven, California, is the dullest place on earth. She is dreaming to escape the drudgery of her life by moving far away to a big city, even dreaming of Hollywood and becoming a movie star.

Bridge to Haven by Francine Rivers is an incredibly poignant and soul-searching story - a sweeping tale of love, forgiveness and redemption. It is the story of a newborn baby who was found one night in 1936 under a bridge by Haven's minister Ezekiel Freeman. Zeke and his wife Marianne named her Abra. Five years later, Marianne dies forcing Zeke to give up on Abra to be adopted by Peter and Priscilla Matthews. So, Abra Matthews grows up under their watchful eyes but the searing imprint of her childhood left an agonizing scar on her. "I've been hurting my whole life," she said.

Years later, when a wily character Dylan Stark tempts her with the idea of trying their luck in Hollywood, she is seduced. She runs away with him, rejecting the advice of family and friends. She receives a make-over and becomes a starlet with a new name Lena Scott. But what initially promises to be an exciting journey brought her much heartache and disappointment. Everyone wants to exploit her, including her boss Franklin Moss who later committed suicide. Her life falls apart, leaving her painfully aching for the love and comfort of Haven and the dear people back home.

But when all seems lost, things can fall together miraculously beyond the hope of one's imagination. Joshua, the young son of Zeke who is deeply scarred by his experiences in the Korean War, is growing restless and wants to bring back Abra. His search brings him to Agua Dulce, and there in the most unlikeliest of all places they meet again. Abra was in her motel room, resting and reading the Gideon Bible. Every reading seems to point to her guilt. When Joshua brings Abra home to Haven, Zeke is praying on the bridge, almost as if he is waiting for her.

Bridge to Haven by Francine Rivers is inspired by the biblical story found in Ezekiel 16. It is a compelling story that will resonate deeply with readers. It is based on the life of 1950s Hollywood starlet Lena Scott, whose real name was Abra. Francine has meticulously researched about the lifestyles in the forties and fifties, Hollywood studios and stars, Second World War, the Korean War and many other details necessary to craft a realistic and believable story. It is an incredibly delightful story with memorable character that will leave a lasting impression on you.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not this one, May 1, 2014
By 
This review is from: Bridge to Haven (Hardcover)
I have deeply enjoyed reading Ms. Rivers other stories. I have several of them on my shelf and they are among the few books that I have reread over the years. I usually only read a book once. This book, however, is different than the others. I am glad I didn't purchase it and instead checked it out from our local library.

The story centers on Abra, a baby found by the river by a local pastor Zeke. For five years, she is raised by him and his wife, Marianne, with their son, Joshua. The book tells Abra's story of growing up. I don't want to give away any of the plot and details in case you do read it, which makes it difficult to write this review.

My issues with this book are different than what other reviewers have said.

My first issue is with Zeke's taking Abra home. I don't understand how it is wrong that he took her home. This part was quite confusing to me. His wife wanted her in their home. She had peace about it. Did he or didn't he? I think he vascillated, but he acknowledges that the other family wasn't ready to have another baby to take care of right then. How he discusses this later with Abra doesn't jive to me. He seems to contradict himself.

My second issue is when Zeke leaves his wife's room (he is a pastor!) and sees Abra in the hall. He said something that will scar her for life--honestly, it would scar anyone for life. He wondered if she'd heard it, but doesn't talk to her about it. Then, she's given to another family where she overhears several conversations about how "they just don't know what they're going to do about her". Yet, the characters don't understand why she doesn't trust anyone... why she closes herself off... really??? They should have asked! As a believer (which all of these characters were), they should have asked and cared.

Another issue I had was the unrealistic portrayal of what happens when a woman who has a brutal sexual history enters a healthy relationship. No, it is not suddenly okay. I have had several friends in this situation and usually--it takes years to form a healthy sexual relationship with their spouse.

Lastly, I was a bit surprised by how graphic Rivers was when it cames to the sexually intimate scenes. Though she is a "romance" writer, I have never seen her as such. She is one author I have upheld in my mind as portraying romance as a part of life, but not the center and I haven't felt like she went towards the Harlequin genre... until now. This book is more of a romance than her previous books (and more graphic about it) and that turned me off.

I still love Rivers other books, but I don't think I'll be reading this one again.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed, May 19, 2014
By 
Rayah (Tucson, AZ) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Bridge to Haven (Kindle Edition)
I have long been a fan of Francine Rivers' books and was anticipating another book to challenge our hearts and look beyond ourselves. While circumstances and the story line are very real for today, I found the details to be what I would expect from a Harlequin Romance novel. It felt cheap and worldly, rather than Christ filled.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not her best, May 1, 2014
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Bridge to Haven (Hardcover)
Normally LOVE Francine Rivers, but this book was the poor man's Redeeming Love. It was much too predictable and reused some of Ms. Rivers's favorite phrases from other books a few too many times for me to enjoy it. Unlike Michael Hosea, who the reader could experience his flaws, Joshua Freeman is too perfect to be realistic. Abra is annoying, and you have a hard time feeling sorry for her early on because you know it's only her stubbornness that is causing her to make mistakes.

Skip this one and reread Redeeming Love.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Book but not Francine River's best work., April 28, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Bridge to Haven (Kindle Edition)
I love Francine River's books but this was not her best work. The characters were too simply developed and the story was very predictable. I do love how the author does a great job of always bringing her characters to redemption. Francine Rivers books always have a clear Biblical message that can not be missed.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Way too sexually explicit for my taste!, May 19, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Bridge to Haven (Kindle Edition)
Francine Rivers is my favorite author but I thought the sex scene between Joshua and Abra was way too explicit. I felt uncomfortable reading it and even skipped a lot of it. The book was a bit slow for me also. Not one of her best.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sadly Average!, May 10, 2014
This review is from: Bridge to Haven (Kindle Edition)
I adore Francine Rivers' writing and love The Mark of the Lion series and Redeeming Love - I want more stories like these, not this!

I agree with what most other people are saying with the awarding of two and three stars. This story left me under-whelmed when I so much wanted to really love this story, but I just couldn't.

For a start, it seemed strange that Abra would be so scarred from the events of her childhood. She didn't actually have it that bad and yet such a big deal was placed on this, I kinda got it but not really.

In her most recent books, Rivers seems to get lost in the middle of her story. She has a beautiful writing style but I often feel like her plot stalls and the story suffers as a result. This story peaked at about the three-quarter of the way through mark when she returns to her home town with Joshua. Then the plot just goes downhill from there and the end just annoyed me! Why leave the small hanging story of Susan, why not just tie it all up nicely?!

It also confused me how a person who has suffered so much sexual assault could be able to enter into a healthy marriage so easily. Her childhood scarred her and took years to get over, but her traumatic assaults seemed to be dealt with so easily and had no big impact on her relationship with Joshua.

The more I reflect on the story, the more I seem to be finding issues! So many parts just don't stand up to scrutiny when you look at them in detail. For example, considering the young age she ran away from home, why was so very little effort made to find her? Why were the police not alerted? For people who said they loved her, the effort made to find her and bring her home did not measure up. And yes to what other people have mentioned - her relationship with Joshua is just creepy, why did no one even raise an eyebrow even to a brother/sister relationship turned romantic?!

I feel like the essence of the story is great but the parts that make up the whole were not well thought through and put together. It is a very flawed plot which makes me sad! I hope one day we do get another book of the Redeeming Love standard from Rivers.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not her best, May 14, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Bridge to Haven (Kindle Edition)
I couldn't wait to read this book but I will have to be honest, I was alittle disappointed. It is so different from her other books that I have read. I had to skim over the Hollywood part and what I consider "rubbing shoulders" with the stars, that just doesn't interest me, and she had some strong sexual content in this one that surprised me. For the most part the story is good and she is still my favorite author, but this one did not have leave me with that "feel good feeling" and a closer relationship with The Lord like her other books have. Plus it comes to an end all of a sudden which really disappointed me. If I had known this I may not have read it for that reason alone.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love Francine Rivers...like Bridget to Haven **spoilers**, April 27, 2014
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Bridge to Haven (Kindle Edition)
If I can't put a book down, it's a good book.
If I wake up at 2 in the morning and want to read and end up finishing a book, it's a good book!
That happened with Bridge to Haven, so it's good!

But....
Usually if I am thinking about the book the next day, it's also because it's good but this time
I was asking a lot of "why's".

Joshua and Abra: Brother and sister until age 5 and 8 or 9? That's too old to change direction
from brother and sister to best friends and then potential/eventual love interest. This was a struggle for me as was the first part of the book until Abra ran away. I actually had to re-read parts as I was confused with this part of the story.

I wanted more character development with Murray the hair stylist and the manicurist ...both appeared to have faced failure and then redemption, something Abra was in the middle of, and I kept thinking it was going to happen as I read...but then they just sort of faded away. It would have been nice to see those special relationships that God provided Abra in the middle of her nightmare life help her. It made me wonder if an editor said "shorten it up" ?

Susan and Zeke? So much time developing a possible relationship there and then nothing? Weird.
And then when Susan talks to Abra about who she is, it surprised me that Abra was so angry and stayed hurt.
Usually people who have failed in a big way have compassion for others failures.
And the various friends from high school, again you think it's going to go deeper and people are tie up some
loose ends but they fade away as well.

Adore Francine Rivers, I have read everything she has written --Redeeming Love more times than I can count and have always thought The Mark of the Lion series would make a great movie. She is authentic and transparent, not afraid to speak TRUTH! No sugar coating and a wonderful story teller. I just feel like this one had some holes, maybe there is a sequel coming and they will get filled in?
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ms. Rivers is a very talented writer., May 18, 2014
By 
Bev Baker (Des Moines, Iowa) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Bridge to Haven (Hardcover)
I have anxiously looked forward to this book. Her previous books have been a delight to read. She usually has a biblical nugget for the reader. Unfortunately, she missed the mark this time.

Some of the content was inappropriate for a Christian book. I will be looking for her next book to see if she has listened to her fans.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 273 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Bridge to Haven
Bridge to Haven by Francine Rivers (Hardcover - April 22, 2014)
$25.99 $16.03
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Rate and Discover Movies
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.