To 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.
Over a year ago a friend who knew that I love Christian fiction suggested that I read some of Francine Rivers’ novels, particularly Redeeming Love. I added the book to my list, but it quickly got lost. (I have a LOT of books on that list!) Then when Bridge to Haven came out, I saw a lot of positive buzz about it. As I have mentioned previously, I tend to be a little cautious when approaching books that have received widespread praise, but I decided to give this one a try.
When I started reading Bridge to Haven, my only knowledge of the plot was the official synopsis posted above. With no expectations of the story, I was surprised at how many of the books pages were devoted to detailing Abra’s journey to Hollywood. Rather than chronicling her journey home or beginning at the height of her fame, the novel literally opens with her birth and includes the events that ultimately led her to seek life in the spotlight.
It was no surprise to me that Francine Rivers is a talented writer; the scenes in this novel are well-structured and descriptive. However, I did feel that at times they were too descriptive. Abra makes some less than wise decisions that lead to her burning important bridges. While I realize that it is important for the reader to understand these events in order to connect with the characters, I sometimes felt that too many details (particularly related to physical intimacy) were included for the Christian fiction market.
Overall, I felt that this was a well-written story. I would recommend it to anyone who likes Christian fiction, with the disclaimer that it does include some themes that might make conservative readers uncomfortable.