Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Bridge by Karen Kingsbury

While a librarian, I belonged to list-servs and read various newsletters to keep up on the publishing industry and its latest offerings.   For the last several years, the success or demise of local books stores (as well as major chains) has been a constant thread of concern. In Karen Kingsbury's new Christmas novella The Bridge, she examines the impact of one such closing.   Following a flood, Charlie Barton finds he doesn't  have the money to restock his Tennessee bookstore. When the building's owners want him to buy or vacate, he realizes that he will need to close his beloved store,The Bridge.  As he becomes overwhelmed with feelings of failure, Charlie considers taking his own life.

On the west coast Molly Allen, philanthropist and sole heir to a financial empire, faces another empty holiday.  They all seem empty since she walked away from what she thought was a budding romance with then best friend Ryan Kelly.  All that remains is her copy of Jane Eyre that they bought at their favorite college bookstore - The Bridge.  As she closes her eyes, she can imagine Ryan settled in his married life with his high school.  What she doesn't realize is that Ryan never married.  Having experienced a successful couple of years touring with Nashville's top musicians, he now longs for a more stable life.  When the web and twitter bring  Ryan and Molly news that Charlie Barton needs help, they both make trips to The Bridge.  Could second chances await them all?

Karen Kingsbury is often called America's top inspirational novelist.  To be truthful, I usually find her books too simple and straight forward.  However, when I sew, an audio version of a short, simple story is the perfect accompaniment.  My sewing/quilting area is set up so I can watch television if I want to, but sometimes I just can't follow the visual of a tv show/movie at the same time I am working on project.  This past weekend, I was finishing up some Christmas gifts on my embroidery machine at the same time I was sewing another project on the sewing machine.  Doing two things at once definitely meant I could not follow a movie, so I popped the audio version of The Bridge in the cd player.  Several hours later, I had finished two embroidered gifts and made two quilted crayon totes, and I knew what happened to Charlie, Ryan, Molly and the bookstore.  I'd call that a good
afternoon!!  If you have someone on your Christmas list who is a big Karen Kingsbury fan, then I am sure they would like this one, although I assure you there are no surprises in this story.  I know the print version would not have kept my interest, even for the short time it takes to read a novella.

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