Facebook, Twitter and assorted other modern gadgetry provide a central link in Kingsbury’s latest Christian romance, one in which a dash of old-world paternalism sparks the action.
But first there is The Bridge, both place and circumstance. Charlie Barton owns The Bridge, an independent bookstore in Franklin, Tenn. The store and Charlie both work to bridge gaps between people and their dreams. As the story begins, Barton is attempting to cope with damage from the devastating 2010 floods that struck the Nashville area. The Bridge was destroyed. Barton had neither sufficient insurance nor sufficient resources to reopen. The second narrative thread follows the fractured romance between Molly Allen and Ryan Kelly, students of music at Belmont University. Molly was a rich man’s daughter from California, a girl reluctantly set free to test her wings in music, although her controlling father expected her to come home and run the family business and marry the son of a friend. Ryan was a country boy from Mississippi, but one talented enough to work his way eventually onto the country music circuit as a guitarist. Molly’s father learned of the budding romance, lied to Ryan about Molly’s feelings and compelled Ryan to drop out of her life, something Ryan felt obligated to do by personal honor. Now it is seven years down the road, neither Molly nor Ryan have married, and Charlie Barton lies in a coma after an auto accident. The Bridge is scheduled for repossession by the building’s owner. Ryan learns of the tragedy and rushes to help. Molly follows the effort through Twitter and soon feels compelled to fly to Franklin to support Charlie. Ryan and Molly meet again, both feeling jilted by that long-ago rejection. But with the characters addressing God personally, praying much, and receiving the right answers, a happy ending is ordained.
A sentimental romance with a religious foundation, albeit with no confrontation of difficult metaphysical questions, this is sure to bring believers joy.