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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Popular inspirational novelist Kingsbury goes mainstream in her newest, which mixes a love story with a seasonal one that borrows from the Christmas favorite It's A Wonderful Life. Molly Allen and Ryan Kelly were college friends heading toward something more when a misunderstanding drives them apart. Five years later, Molly pines for Ryan, a country music guitarist, and vice versa, even though each assumes the other has married an earlier sweetheart. Meanwhile, Charlie Barton, owner of the Bridge, the Franklin, Tenn., bookstore where Molly and Ryan hung out, faces ruin in the aftermath of a devastating flood and the changes in publishing that have devastated many a book retailer. Shortly before Christmas, Charlie comes desperately to think he's worth more dead than alive, but before he can change his mind, a car accident leaves him in a coma. When Ryan hears about the accident, he begins a book drive for Charlie, and those who know the Jimmy Stewart holiday film don't have to guess how things turn out. Kingsbury fans may acquire a new holiday favorite read in this sugary tale of second chances. (Oct. 23) Ǩ --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

What’s left when you lose everything? Kingsbury (Coming Home, 2012) works through that tough question in her newest novel. Charlie Barton and his wife, Donna, ran the Bridge, a historic bookstore in Franklin, Tennessee, for 30 years, but a declining industry and a devastating flood left them with an empty storefront and insurmountable bills. Molly Allen and Ryan Kelly connected in college over their passion for reading, using the Bridge as their getaway from the very different lives they lead. ED: S/B “they led”? Years later, both look back and wonder what could have been. When Charlie gets into a horrible accident, Ryan decides to organize a book drive and gather donations, so Charlie can rebuild the bookstore when he heals. Through the effort, Ryan and Molly reconnect. It’s hard to know what is most important until something forces you to change your perspective. Kingsbury’s characters are confronted with the hard choices readers face daily. The award-winning author brings her trademark empathy for the people she writes for to this tale, and fans will love her dramatic take on real issues. --Carolyn Richard --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Audio CD: 4 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio; Unabridged edition (October 23, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 144235321X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442353213
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.7 x 5.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (907 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,448,760 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

No. 1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Karen Kingsbury is America's favorite inspirational novelist. There are nearly 20 million copies of her award-winning books in print, including several million copies sold in the past year. Karen has written more than 50 novels, ten of which have hit #1 on national lists.

Karen's newest novel, COMING HOME - The Baxter Family - releases June 26 and is the subject of much buzz on Karen's active Facebook page, where she had more than 250,000 friends. There is also great anticipation over THE BRIDGE, Karen's much-anticipated first hardback release with her new publisher - Simon & Schuster's Howard Books. THE BRIDGE is a love story set against the demise of the American bookstore.

In addition, Karen has ventured into the area of short pieces with her new non-fiction series - KAREN KINGSBURY, THE REST OF THE STORY. Her first piece, I CAN ONLY IMAGINE, has touched the hearts of tens of thousands of readers interested in knowing more about Karen's personal life and the motivation behind her Life-Changing Fiction (TM). I CAN ONLY IMAGINE shares the story of Karen's brother, his struggles, and his quest for redemption.

Karen's novel LIKE DANDELION DUST is the subject of a major motion picture currently in theaters. Like Dandelion Dust stars Academy Award winning Mira Sorvino and Barry Pepper, along with Cole Hauser and Maxwell Perry Cotton. The film has received more than 30 awards in the Film Festival Circuit including numerous Best Picture awards. Several of Karen's books are currently under theatrical development.

Karen's most recent series - the Bailey Flanigan Series, wrapped up in March. Coming Home - The Baxter Family - is a stand-alone novel about John Baxter's 70th Birthday and the tragedy that happens during June, 2010 with Take Four. The series is about two producers looking to change the world with the power of film. The Above the Line series also includes Karen's popular characters from the fictitious Baxter Family. The Baxters were first introduced to readers through the five-book Redemption series, and then the five-book Firstborn series, and finally the four-book Sunrise series.

Dubbed by Time Magazine as the Queen of Christian Fiction, Karen has also been a featured guest on the Today Show, Fox News, USA Today, and numerous other television programs and magazines. Her fiction has made her one of the country's favorite storytellers. Others of her emotionally gripping titles include the 9-11 Series, Even Now, Ever After, and Between Sundays.

Karen is also a public speaker, reaching more than 100,000 women annually through various national events. Karen and her husband, Don, live in Nashville, TN with their five sons, three of whom are adopted from Haiti. Their daughter Kelsey is an actress who has appeared in several Christian films. She is newly married to Christian recording artist Kyle Kupecky. The two also live in Nashville.

Customer Reviews

There is too much missing from this book.
LaurieHere dot com - Contemporary Fiction and MORE - Book Reviews
Sweet love story and wonderful reminder of our God of second chances.
Sheila Burba
Can't wait to read her next book....loved it very much!
Carolyn Culver

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

59 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer C on October 24, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have never given a Karen Kingsbury book less than 4/5 stars! I love her books and her writing, but I can't find words to describe what I feel is lacking with THE BRIDGE. I read the short story prequel THE BEGINNING and was immediately sucked into the story because I felt a great connection with Charlie and Donna and their love of books. I couldn't find that same connection with Molly and Ryan in THE BRIDGE. THE BRIDGE seemed really short. Only 77% of the Kindle edition was the actual book. My favorite part of THE BRIDGE was the group of people coming together to try and help the bookstore. I could identify with that. There are good people out there who will help! Good people helped my family when my son underwent brain surgery with prayers, money or just a shoulder to cry on. In a nutshell, I enjoyed the book but felt something was missing. I wanted more book, more story, more something. Again, I can't rightly express my feelings. However, I continue to be a KK fan and will continue to read her books.

Additional thoughts...I just realized what bugged me about this book. I didn't feel God in the pages. Every other KK book has been very much about prayer, seeking God's wisdom, etc. I like Karen's very in your face writing about God and seeking a relationship with him. I didn't feel that here. Other than Charlie praying about the store, I didn't see the other characters really going to God.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Coralee Cowley on November 10, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Really? You're kidding me! Those are the words I said out loud when I finished this book. I was reading the book electronically so I had no idea the book was anywhere near being over. The characters were underdeveloped and the ending was so predictable and "tidy". I am a huge Karen kingsbury fan. I've read every novel she's written so it pains me to write a review that is less than 5 star. Unfortunately, This is not a book I will be recommending.
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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Zac on October 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The Bridge by Karen Kingsbury is a heartwarming story of love, hope, and second chances. "The Bridge," a bookstore, in Franklin, Tennessee has served the community for many years. The owners, unable to pay the rent, are on the brink of losing their store. When tragedy strikes, a former college student who used to frequent "The Bridge" tries to step in and help. While trying to rally a town together, he relives his memories at "The Bridge" and wonders about Molly, his long-ago love.

The Bridge is set between Thanksgiving and Christmas, a time when many are longing for a miracle in their lives and a time when many are getting into the giving spirit. The Bridge will help with this as readers travel to Franklin and stroll down the streets, as they see the small shops and boutiques, and as they gaze into the historic bookstore in downtown Franklin. Many readers will be captured by a previous love and a hope and a prayer for the owner who provided a place for it to happen.

I am a huge Karen Kingsbury fan and I was really excited to read The Bridge. As with most of Karen's books, I was not disappointed. The Bridge kept moving and really held my attention. Many times I found myself caught up in the story-feeling the pain of the characters and longing with them for miracles and second chances.

I received a copy of "The Bridge" from Howard Books via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
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30 of 36 people found the following review helpful By klynnbenn on October 28, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I cannot believe how disappointing "The Bridge" was and that I wasted $10 on it. What has happened to Karen Kingsbury's writing. I have read almost everything she has written, but the past few years her books are either terribly depressing (Coming Home) or just short and boring like this one. Very little interaction between Ryan and Molly, and I had already paid for the prequel so I did not need to read page after page about how the whole thing started. Do not waste your money on this one.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By C. Kendall VINE VOICE on October 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I have only read a few of Karen's books and I know she is a prolific and popular author, but I have never been terribly impressed by her writing. Her books are enjoyable enough, but they have always felt like assembly line books and I hate to say it, The Bridge had that same feel. It was a very quick read, which isn't a bad thing. Most of the Christmas novels that come out are short and sweet reads and I find that very appealing because it's a busy time of year and there is nothing better than a quick and relaxing read right now.

I don't want to say that I did not like this book because it was about what I would expect from a Christmastime novel. The setting was definitely my favorite thing about this story and it went a long way with me in making it more enjoyable. There just wasn't much that was unique with this book. I read it fast and when I finished, I was satisfied for the most part, but I did not have the warm, fuzzy feeling I crave when reading a Christmas story. I'm sure Karen's devoted fans will love her holiday offering and I did enjoy it enough to recommend it. I just wish Karen had taken a bit more time to pull me in, instead I felt like I was being hurried along.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By artistwriter on November 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Like one of the reviewers said, the best part of the book and one of the most enjoyable was the scene at the animal rescue. I really wished I would have taken the critical reviews more seriously, I feel I've wasted my money. This could have been a wonderful, fanciful book full of the Lord but instead I felt it was shallow and almost reminded me of a hastily written Hallmark story. The author does mention the Lord, and that is great but not what I expected. I expected a book I would relish and instead I found myself speeding through the last chapters to get through it. I dislike leaving a critical review but perhaps it will save someone's hard earned money.
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