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Karen Kingsbury’s The Bridge is a poignant story of misunderstandings, faith and love. For thirty years, Charlie and Donna Barton have owned The Bridge, a new and used bookstore in Franklin, Tennessee. They have made it a welcoming place for those who are seeking a connection or help through books, treating everyone who comes in the door as family. Now a flood has destroyed everything … Can Charlie find the strength to go on? Molly Allen and Ryan Kelly met as college students. Every day they visited The Bridge and found a home there together. But their friendship came to a sudden end seven years ago and they’ve not seen each other since. Can the devastation left behind by the flood be a miracle in disguise and bring them back together?

Kingsbury gives readers another compelling treasure, full of heartbreak and second chances. This is a fast read and a wonderful way to get into the holiday spirit. As the book progresses, you get the details of Molly and Ryan’s relationship, and you feel so bad for them – their budding relationship was so sweet and endearing. They were young and learning so much together, about themselves and growing up, only to have things change so drastically, so quickly. Usually I despair over a situation where a little communication could fix things, but Kingsbury delivered it so smoothly and satisfyingly that I embraced it whole heartedly. Charlie and Donna play back-up to Molly and Ryan, but their situation is just as touching. And their perseverance in the face of hardship is inspiring.

I recommend The Bridge to anyone looking for a reminder about the reasons for the holidays and the good things that can happen to anyone who reaches out to embrace the wonders of life.