Book Review: Bridge to Haven

24 Jul

368184To those who matter in 1950s Hollywood, Lena Scott is the hottest rising star to hit the silver screen since Marilyn Monroe. Few know her real name is Abra. Even fewer know the price she’s paid to finally feel like she’s somebody.

To Pastor Ezekiel Freeman, Abra will always be the little girl who stole his heart the night he found her, a wailing newborn abandoned under a bridge on the outskirts of Haven. Zeke and his son, Joshua—Abra’s closest friend—watch her grow into an exotic beauty. But Zeke knows the circumstances surrounding her birth etched scars deep in her heart, scars that leave her vulnerable to a fast-talking bad boy who proclaims his love and lures her to Tinseltown. Hollywood feels like a million miles from Haven, and naive Abra quickly learns what’s expected of an ambitious girl with stars in her eyes. But fame comes at an awful price. She has burned every bridge to get exactly what she thought she wanted. Now, all she wants is a way back home.



francine-treeFrancine Rivers began her literary career at the University of Nevada, Reno, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Journalism. From 1976 to 1985, she had a successful writing career in the general market and her books were awarded or nominated for numerous awards and prizes. Although raised in a religious home, Francine did not truly encounter Christ until later in life, when she was already a wife, mother of three, and an established romance novelist. Shortly after becoming a born-again Christian in 1986, Francine wrote Redeeming Love as her statement of faith. First published by Bantam Books, and then re-released by Multnomah Publishers in the mid- 1990s, this retelling of the biblical story of Gomer and Hosea set during the time of the California Gold Rush is now considered a classic work of Christian fiction and continues to be one of the Christian Booksellers Association’s top-selling titles; it has held a spot on the Christian bestseller list for nearly a decade.

Since Redeeming Love, Francine has published more than 20 novels with Christian themes – all bestsellers- and she has continued to win both industry acclaim and reader loyalty around the globe. Her Christian novels have been awarded or nominated for numerous awards including the RITA Award, the Christy Award, the ECPA Gold Medallion, and the Holt Medallion in Honor of Outstanding Literary Talent. In 1997, after winning her third RITA award for Inspirational Fiction, Francine was inducted into the Romance Writers’ of America Hall of Fame. In 2007, the feature-length film version of her novel The Last Sin Eater was released in theaters by Fox Faith. In March 2010, Francine officially became a New York Times bestselling author, when Her Mother’s Hope debuted at #12 on the hardcover fiction bestsellers lists. The sequel, Her Daughter’s Dream, debuted at #12 on the same list just 6 months later, in September, 2010. Francine’s novels have been translated into nearly thirty different languages and she enjoys best-seller status in many foreign countries including Germany, The Netherlands, and South Africa.

Francine and her husband Rick live in Northern California and enjoy the time spent with their three grown children and every opportunity to spoil their five grandchildren. She uses her writing to draw closer to the Lord, and that through her work she might worship and praise Jesus for all He has done and is doing in her life.


My Impressions:

Francine Rivers’s books are some of my book club’s favorite all-time reads. When asked what book we liked the most in our 11 years of meeting, we overwhelmingly say Redeeming Love. Now we will probably have to declare Bridge to Haven to be our second favorite. All who read Rivers’ newest novel loved it.

Abra Freeman was found as an abandoned newborn under the bridge to the town of Haven. Loved from the beginning, she still struggled with feelings of unworthiness and abandonment. A child that tried desperately to please became a rebellious teenager and ultimately a runaway set on a course to become somebody. But what Abra, now Lena Scott, finds is not love or fame or fortune, but an emptiness that has her running away from who she has become.

Bridge to Haven is an excellent choice for a book club. We found a lot to discuss — great characters, the setting of the Golden Age of Hollywood and themes of unconditional love, the value of life and God’s forgiveness. We found many parallels in Abra’s story with the Prodigal Son of the Bible, as well as the mistakes people make in general. The novel was also deemed unputdownable even though at times it was a difficult read. I first thought the book was a bit predictable, but soon came to the conclusion that the choices that Abra made were predictable because of how often people in real life make the same choices. God must find us very predictable in our sin!

Another winner from Francine Rivers, my book club highly recommends Bridge to Haven.

Highly Recommended.

(I purchased this book for my Kindle. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

To purchase this book, click on the image below.

2 Responses to “Book Review: Bridge to Haven”

  1. Sue W August 4, 2014 at 4:00 pm #

    I feel the same as your book club does about F.R.’s writing. Our library’s copy of Bridge to Haven is checked out, so I have to wait a little longer to get my hands on it.

    • rbclibrary August 4, 2014 at 6:28 pm #

      Hope you get it soon. We really liked it. Actually, we have never not liked anything she has written. Thanks for stopping by.

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