“Sometimes God has to destroy in order to save. He has to wound in order to heal.”
Bridge to Haven the first book I’ve read of Francine’s and is by far the most touching and heart-wrenching books I’ve ever read. This book was on my to-read list the moment I saw the cover, and I’m so glad I was able to get my hands on it. Following the story of the Prodigal Son from the book of Luke, we are taken on a journey with Abra, a broken young woman who is unable to grab onto her life.
I love that Francine doesn’t shy away from reality to get her point across, yet it’s done with a careful hand. She writes so beautifully and draws you in from the first word. You feel as though you’re there, living in the story, instead of just reading it.
Like Redeeming Love, this novel is full of some pretty heavy stuff. From the very beginning, we already experience illness and death, and then are brought along as Abra deals with emotional, physical, and sexual abuse, and forced abortion. Francine does an excellent job of painting Abra as a sympathetic character, but it may be a bit too much for some readers.
I’ve read a lot of reviews that suggest Abra is too unrealistic of a character, but sometimes one has to hit rock bottom to get back up on her feet. She deals with a lot of stuff, but I don’t believe it’s addressed in an unrealistic way. I think people believe that because what Abra deals with is usually a silent, private issue and that nobody talks about it. Then you read about her, even as a fictional character, trying to deal with all that she’s gone through and then you try to figure out how a person can go through all of that during only a couple of years.
Another thing I liked was that her struggle with God was consistent throughout the entire novel. One of my biggest pet peeves is having a character wrestle with their faith and then come back to Christ in almost the same breath. It was a lovely change from other books I’ve read though I didn’t expect anything less from Rivers.
There are a couple of things that didn’t bother me but did bother other readers that I wanted to share before I close this review. It involves minor spoilers, so if you want to be completely surprised just skip ahead to the next section. The first is the plot twist. I didn’t see it coming, but then I hardly ever see anything coming in mystery shows and what not so it did surprise me. But other readers thought it was silly and saw it from the moment the character stepped into the story. The other is Abra and Joshua’s relationship. Some people thought it was weird because, for the first five years of Abra’s life, they were siblings (adoptive) before she was given to another family but again, this didn’t bother me.
All in all, I adored this book and recommend it to anyone who thinks they’re too far gone to be saved.