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Bridge to Haven by [Rivers, Francine]
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Bridge to Haven Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 1,707 customer reviews

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Length: 482 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In Rivers’ (Her Daughter’s Dream, 2010) latest inspirational tale, Pastor Zeke feels compelled to walk to the bridge at the edge of Haven, his small Northern California town. There he discovers an abandoned newborn infant. The year is 1936 and his wife, Maryanne, her heart weakened by rheumatic fever in her childhood and advised against another pregnancy, wants to keep the child. They name her Abra. Five years later, Maryanne dies and Pastor Zeke gives Abra up for adoption to friends. Abra ends up feeling rejected by her birth mom and the pastor, and never bonds with her adoptive family. Joshua, her best friend, goes to war in Korea with a MASH unit, and she runs away to Hollywood and becomes a starlet under the tutelage of an agent who sees her as his Galatea. Hollywood success fails to make Abra feel whole and wanted, and she has no idea that Joshua is looking for her. Rivers’ persistent Christian message will please readers who are seeking fiction with a repeated and strong message about redemption and salvation. --Diana Tixier Herald

Review

Rivers (Redeeming Love) returns with a page-turning recasting of the story of the prodigal son, here a prodigal daughter. In 1936, Abra Matthews is found as a newborn under a bridge in the small California town of Haven by Pastor Ezekiel Freeman. She’s taken in, but never feels as if she quite belongs, so she is susceptible to a beguiling young man who years later lures 17-year-old Abra to Hollywood. There, she becomes starlet Lena Scott, made over by a Pygmalion-like agent who wants everything from her, even while Abra/Lena comes to understand the cost of what she thought she wanted. Rivers nicely evokes 1950s Hollywood, with its gossip columnists, high-wattage movie stars, and ladder-climbing aspirants; Elvis Presley and Lana Turner put in cameos. This story arc will be particularly resonant for Christian readers, but Rivers has the writing ability to reel in others who enjoy a well-told tale of redemption. (Publishers Weekly)

In Rivers’ exquisite style, she takes the Biblical story of Ezekiel 16 and translates it into a character-driven tale set in the ’30s through the ’60s. Relating the experiences of the characters to the reader’s relationship with God takes the story to the next level. Richly detailed, at times disturbing, but completely real and dynamic, this is a book to savor. (Romantic Times)

Francine Rivers is perhaps the best novelist of our time. In Bridge to Haven, she quickly captured me with her characters and pulled me into the story of this prodigal daughter. It’s a story you can’t forget. I predict it will become a blockbuster like Redeeming Love. Novel Rocket and I give it our highest recommendation. It’s a 5-star must read. Bridge to Haven has been added to my Top Ten for 2014 and My All Time Favorites List. (Novel Rocket)

This is a book you won’t want to miss and won’t soon forget. It’s one that will make you think; give you courage and hope, for no matter what you face. I highly recommend it. (Novel Reviews)

Product Details

  • File Size: 5956 KB
  • Print Length: 482 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (April 22, 2014)
  • Publication Date: April 22, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00E1O63B6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,861 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: 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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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.
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