The Bridge: A Novel

by Karen Kingsbury

Hardcover, 2012



Call number



Howard Books (2012), Edition: First Edition, 272 pages

Original publication date



Ryan Kelly spends plenty of time at The Bridge--the oldest bookstore in historic downtown Franklin, Tennessee--remembering the times he and Molly Allen--who moved to Portland--once spent there, and now, with the bookstore in deep financial trouble, it will take a miracle to keep tragedy from unfolding.


Original language


Physical description

272 p.; 7 inches


1451647018 / 9781451647013

User reviews

LibraryThing member kaykwilts
The Bridge is a story of paying it forward, community, and lost love. The Bridge is a quaint little bookstore in downtown Franklin, Tennessee. The owners are a childless couple who have always given to the community. They have always extended a helping had when others were in need but the flood of
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2010 destroyed their bookstore. Charlie and his wife do not have the funds to restore the bookstore.

While in college Molly and Ryan became friends and would enjoy each other company in one of the upper rooms at the bookstore. Molly was from an upper crust family from the northwest while Ryan is from a poor family in Alabama. Because of manipulations on the part of Molly's father the couple parts ways.

I do not want to give too much away to spoil this story for the reader. You will not regret reading this story on how the community comes together to help this couple. You will have to read this book to see if there is hope for Molly and Ryan. You will not regret reading this story.

What I liked about this new book by Karen Kingsbury is that it had a beginning, a middle and a end. Unlike some of her other books you will not have to read five or six books to see this story resolved. It's a quick read and you should be able to read it in a couple of hours. It's sure to put a smile on your face.

The only criticism I have is that I wish the romance could have been developed a little more.

Thanks to Netgallley and Simon and Schuster, Inc. for providing me this ebook to review.

This title will be released on October 23, 2012.
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LibraryThing member jnut1
For the first time in a long time I was disappointed in a book by Karen Kingsbury now to be fair I was a huge Baxter fan and maybe because this is different that was part of it but I doubt it. I raed a lot and I either like a book or I don't, I rarely compare them to others by the same author or
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other books in general.

This book just didn't do it for me. I loved the concept and parts of it were very heartwarming but overall it was just ok.

Who doesn't love a good bookstore and the history of this bookstore is amazing. But it just fals short for me. I suggest you read it and see what you think.

Goodreads writes:
Molly Allen lives alone in Portland, but her heart is back in Franklin, Tennessee, where five years ago she walked away from a man she cannot forget, a rare sort of love she hasn't found since.
Ryan Kelly lives in Franklin and spends plenty of time at The Bridge-the oldest bookstore in historic downtown Franklin-remembering the long hours he and Kelly once spent there.
Now, Ryan and Molly's favorite bookstore is in trouble. For thirty years, Charlie and Donna Barton have run The Bridge, providing the people of middle Tennessee with coffee, conversation, and shelves of good books-even through dismal book sales and the rise of eBooks. Then in May a flood tore through Franklin and destroyed nearly every book in the store. By Christmastime, the bank threatens to pull the lease on The Bridge and is about to take the Bartons' house as well. Despondent, Charlie considers ending his life. And in the face of tragedy, miracles begin to unfold.(
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LibraryThing member judyg54
This was a story centered around "the best little bookstore in the world" which happens to be in Franklin, TN. It is a story about the dear married couple who have run this bookstore all their married life, and also about two young people, Molly and Ryan, who met, became friends and went through
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college and thought they fell in love while studying at the bookstore. It is a tender and sweet romance. I loved the way the owners, Charlie and Donna, had such a deep and lasting love, in the midst of struggles and hard times. And Molly and Ryan you knew had a real "heart connection" but through a twist of fate, they never took the opportunity to let each other know excatly how they felt. This was a story that starts in the present, and then has alot of flashbacks to show you how you got to the where you are now. I loved getting to know these people that way. I couldn't read this book fast enough, because I wanted to see how it was going to all turn out. So I recommend you give yourself some time when you start this book, because you are not going to want to put in down until you finish. For the romantic at heart, this is a must read!

I want to thank Howard Books for giving me the chance to read this book and review it through NetGalley. It was a pleasure to read and I felt the cover was also a good draw for people to pick up and read this story.

Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Howard Books (October 23, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1451647018
ISBN-13: 978-1451647013
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LibraryThing member dhaupt
Molly Allen and Ryan Kelly came from very different worlds, but their mutual love of music and literature bridged the gap. They nurtured their dreams in a Franklin TN bookstore, an institution known as The Bridge, and seven years ago they saw those dreams abruptly change. Charlie and Donna Barton,
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who built it on faith and love, own the bookstore; they named it The Bridge because Charlie felt that books were a bridge between the past, the present and the future. They never put profit over customers or community and often gave from their own pockets to fill the needs of others, one small miracle at a time. In the aftermath of the Nashville flood it’s now Charlie who needs a miracle and it reunites Molly and Ryan to fight for his cause. What they discover about their past will come as a shock to them both, it will also reaffirm their faith in each other, but it’s what they choose to do with that knowledge that may redirect their future, and will give them both a greater awareness that God truly believes in second chances.

This was my debut read of Karen Kingsbury and I can easily see why she has a great following. She combined a story of faith, love, forgiveness and what havoc betrayal can wreck. She gave me characters that were humanized by their faults and who shone because of their hearts. And she gave one very special brick and mortal building a staring role. She told a tale about questioning faith, about miracles and mostly about second chances. She does this with a narrative that’s easily read and enjoyed by all ages and all genders. And to make it even more special it’s a story set during the season of miracles.
Weather you’re seeking an inspirational novel, a love story, a drama, you will get all of these and more inside the pages of this novel.
Thank you Ms. Kingsbury for an enjoyable, refreshingly innocent and faith based novel.
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LibraryThing member Robin661
The Bridge
Karen Kingbury

Book Summary: Molly Allen lives alone in Portland, but her heart is back in Franklin, Tennessee, where five years ago she walked away from a man she cannot forget, a rare sort of love she hasn't found since.
Ryan Kelly lives in Franklin and spends plenty of time at The
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Bridge-the oldest bookstore in historic downtown Franklin-remembering the long hours he and Kelly once spent there.
Now, Ryan and Molly's favorite bookstore is in trouble. For thirty years, Charlie and Donna Barton have run The Bridge, providing the people of middle Tennessee with coffee, conversation, and shelves of good books-even through dismal book sales and the rise of eBooks. Then in May a flood tore through Franklin and destroyed nearly every book in the store. By Christmastime, the bank threatens to pull the lease on The Bridge and is about to take the Bartons' house as well. Despondent, Charlie considers ending his life. And in the face of tragedy, miracles begin to unfold.
Review: It started out slow but moved into high gear quickly. The book was split between the owners of the Bridge and the younger couple who moved from college to present time. Some of the time is spent in the past and was moved there nicely by a video or remembering through a character. I found the background information to be enjoyable and like the characters. I thought some of the hospital events to be less believable, although not impossible. Overall this was an enjoyable well laid out story.
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LibraryThing member LauraMoore
This hands down was my favorite audiobook of 2012. This year was the first year that I started getting into listening to audiobooks, because I now have an hour + commute, which cuts down on my actual reading time, so this helps to make me still feel like I'm getting somewhere with my reading goals.
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That being said I loved every minute of this book, and everything about it, from the characters, to the plot, to the setting of a bookstore called the bridge, I loved it all.

I went into it not knowing what to expect because I had never read a Karen Kingsbury novel before, although I have heard/seen her name around the bookosphere quite frequently. I went into it thinking it would be a light-hearted, fluffy holiday novel that although I'd enjoy, wouldn't have a real emotional connection to, and boy was I wrong. This book made me laugh, cry, reminence, and look forward to the future all at once. The characters were strong and well developed and I felt connected in some way to each and everyone of them, which I feel is rare, usually you can connect to maybe one character, but surely not all of them. The setting was what every book lover in the worlds' favorite place is, and that's in a bookstore, I mean who wouldn't want to fall in love there??!!

This book may look like a light-hearted holiday read, but it's so deep, and well developed that I'm sure my short and sweet review cannot do it justice, but if you like romance, or books about books then I seriously recommend picking this one up, Because I am for sure picking up a physical copy of this book and will definitly read this in the near future, maybe even next winter.
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LibraryThing member cassmob
I picked this book up because of the "New York Times best selling author". Well now I know better. A predictable plot line with a saccharine level of God-bothering. If you want to waste a few hours reading mindlessly go ahead. There were enjoyable aspects to the book, including the differences we
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can make in life but that's not exactly news. Kingsbury is not going on my authors-to-follow list.
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LibraryThing member mchwest
Short book and I know I like fluff once in a while but this was a bit too fluffy for me.
LibraryThing member SherylHendrix
Fans of Kingsbury will enjoy this story of lost love reconnected by God's amazing acts of grace in the lives of those who fully understand and cooperate with His purposes as well as those who do not, but are the recipients of his prevenient grace as He works to bring them to himself and bring them
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life fulfillment. Bridges of love, grace, acceptance, etc. abound in this book, but The Bridge itself refers to the Tennessee bookstore around which the storylines converge. A winner, and it leads nicely into a second stand alone book "The Chance" that brings the two main characters of this novel into supporting roles again.
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LibraryThing member jbarr5
The Bridge by Karen Kingsbury
ISBN: 9781451647013
Molly Allen from San Francisco was studying at a south east college-just to get away from her parents for 2 years. They had bought a house there with servants to keep an eye on her. Any dating and she would be sent back home.
Ryan from MS is a poor
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student but plays brilliant music on his guitar. Together they meet at The Bridge which is like a library and they can push one another to go with Plan A and not settle for what their parents want them to do with their lives.
Love how the pay forward shows up before it was popular. Hearing about the flooded bookstore made me upset that the bank wouldn't loan them money to replace some books.
Love the photo journal/scrapbook and how others pictures and names were in place to show what the bookstore really meant to them.
Charlie and Donna Barton know God will never let him fail and there are many times that quotes used from the Bible are posted in this book.
After Ryan's band shut down he looked for God to guide him in what was to come next.
The scrapbook comes into mind when Ryan contacts people in it to do for Charlie what Charlie had done for each of them.
Molly, upon returning to San Francisco had set her father straight as to how things would be. She'd run his charitiable foundations, which he had none of yet, and her soon to be married spouse would run the business.
The bridge, brought others together from past to present and from past to future, would The Bridge bring Ryan and Molly together again...
Maybe God will give Charlie a second chance...
Love how they use social media of today to rally for the cause.
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LibraryThing member love2readnovels
Molly Allen and Ryan Kelly came from very different backgrounds but for two years while in school, they were inseparable. Encouraging each other to follow their dreams. One of their favorite hangouts was The Bridge. A local bookstore that was a warm and friendly place to be. A misunderstanding
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sends them in different directions and though they haven't spoken in five years, their connection still remains very strong. Charlie and Donna Barton are the owners of The Bridge. They love providing a place for folks to come and have some coffee, talk with people and find great books. Then tragedy strikes. The hundred year flood comes through and ruins the books in the store. The insurance isn't enough to cover the damage and the owner wants to sell the property. Charlie hits the depth of despair and feels like God isn't listening. Then suddenly in a moment of time everything changes. Is there really such a thing as miracles and second chances?

When I saw the gorgeous cover of this book and found out it was about a bookstore, I knew I had to read it. I'm so glad I did. It was a heartwarming story that follows the lives of four people. One thing I really appreciated about the story was the idea, that you really don't understand the impact a small act of kindness can have on a persons life. Sometimes we get discouraged, thinking it means nothing, but as we see in the story it can make a real difference. I loved watching how the whole story unfolded. The characters were very likeable and realistic. They make mistakes, think the unthinkable, and make wrong assumptions. You don't get any more real than that. Once you step inside the story you won't want leave until the very end, because you become so involved in the lives of these folks. The Bridge will not only pull at your heartstrings but encourage you in your faith. It makes a wonderful Christmas read.

Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Howard Books (October 23, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1451647018
ISBN-13: 978-1451647013

*This complimentary copy was provided by Howard Books through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
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LibraryThing member MomsterBookworm
I'm oversimplifying this, but this is a romance that budded and blossomed in a book store setting. It weathered some storms, and was rekindled. If I had a romantic fantasy (and perhaps I do, because I love the movie, 'You've Got Mail), it would be one that was centered around my love for all things
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related to books and reading. But more than that, it's a story about second chances and miracles!
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LibraryThing member jnut1
This is the prequel to the Bridge, I wish I had read it before the Bridge. The Bridge was not one of my favorite books by Karen but now that I have read this, I think I want to give the Bridge another chance.

The Beginning starts with 2 couple who have tradigies happen on the same day and how they
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end up coming together through the bookstore The Bridge.
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LibraryThing member debs4jc
Sweet, sentimental, and fairly predictable romance about two college students who fell in love with each other and with a bookstore called the bridge. Circumstances pulled the young couple apart, but they are reunited years later when the owner of The Bridge is hospitalized after an accident and
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former customers rally to support him and his wife. If you're looking for a sweet heartwarming romance to pass the time this one will do, but it's not outstanding in any way.
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LibraryThing member mcgeerhonda
I cried, I laughed, I wish there really was a place like The Bridge. I'd want to be there. Very touching story. It's on my read again every Christmas list.
LibraryThing member lineells
Innocuous, simple, light-hearted reading. Predictable. Boy and girl split. Years later the bookstore, and the owner of said store, which they had once loved are going under. Boy meets up with girl and voila! Relationship, etc. saved!
LibraryThing member JenniferRobb
3.5 stars (rating may vary depending on site and whether it allows half star ratings to show):
Warning: Spoilers Possible in Review--Read at your own Discretion:


Two couples:

Donna and Charlie are older but still in love. For 30 years they ran The Bridge bookstore but a flood has destroyed all
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the inventory, the insurance wasn't enough to do repairs AND buy more books, and they've exhausted all their earthly efforts to find capital.

Molly and Ryan met as college students. Ryan, a guitarist, had a girl back home. Molly, a violinist and eventual heiress, had parents who were determined to see her married to a guy back home. Because Molly's father would pull her back home if he found out she was seeing another guy, they start hanging out after classes at The Bridge--and eventually fall in love. Though their feelings for each other persist, a series of miscommunications drives them apart.

Ryan goes on to have a several years ride as a guitar player for a successful country group based out of Nashville. He never marries the girl back home. So now he finds himself without a long-term paying gig and trying to decide if he should go back to live near his father and take a job as a music teacher. When he reads about Charlie's hospitalization and then hears about the rest of the story from Donna, he decides to do something about it.

Molly got recalled home but put her foot down with her father. She and the man her father had picked out did not marry. Molly's parents died and she moved away from where they lived. She finds out about Charlie's hospitalization on the town's Twitter feed and goes back, knowing full well that she'll probably run into Ryan--so she wears her mother's wedding ring.

It's Karen Kingsbury--so you know things will work out somehow, but I liked it better than some other of her books that I've read recently.
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LibraryThing member KimSalyers
was really a great book read it in one sitting
LibraryThing member KimSalyers
was really a great book read it in one sitting
LibraryThing member genieinanovel
In this novel we follow the connected story of four characters – Molly Allen, Ryan Kelly and Charlie & Donna Barton. Charlie and Donna own and run a bookstore called The Bridge, where Molly and Ryan spent a lot of their free time at during their first two years of college. They were inseparable,
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to the point where Charlie and Donna were convinced they’d be married someday.

But then Molly left.

Ryan never knew why.

Now it’s years later. Molly is running a successful branch of her father’s business, Ryan has toured the country as the lead guitarist of a famous country singer, and Charlie and Donna are trying to keep The Bridge alive after a flood completely wipes out the inside of their store.

The story of Molly and Ryan was one that is going to stay on my heart for some time. Call me a sucker, but I love a good story of two long-lost soul mates reuniting after a number of years have passed. I also enjoyed reading from the perspectives of Charlie and Donna and learning about their backgrounds and connection to Molly and Ryan. Like me, they were rooting for the two to get together when they were in college.

This was my first ever Karen Kingsbury book that I’ve read. My mom had told me she’s a great Christian-fiction writer and I can see why. This book brought tears to my eyes a number of times and at the same time warmed my heart. It was refreshing to read a book that focuses on the faith of the characters and their relationship with God as well as each other. I’m actually currently reading another book of hers and I can tell you I will continue to read more books by her. She’s definitely becoming one of my favorite authors.

One last note is that I fell in love with the bookstore their story revolves around, to the point that it makes me wish there was a small, homey bookstore just like The Bridge in my town. I guess I’ll just have to settle for opening one with my mom someday.

Anyway, I definitely recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a heartwarming story.
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LibraryThing member thornton37814
Molly Allen and Ryan Kelly meet as students at Belmont College. They come from different backgrounds. Ryan grew up in Carthage, Mississippi and aspires to be a studio musician. Molly's father owns a large shipping company in San Francisco and wants her to manage that company and marry Preston
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Millington. She dreams of playing violin in a symphony orchestra. Since Molly and Ryan share a music major, some of their courses are the same. Although her parents' Brentwood home provides an ideal setting, she knows the house's servants would report Molly's study dates to her father who would then make her come back to San Francisco. Instead, they find an ideal place at a Franklin bookstore called "The Bridge" owned by Charlie and Donna Barton. Something goes wrong, and both go their separate ways. The devastating "Nashville flood" plays a major role in this Hallmark movie-style tale. I listened to the audio and enjoyed the narrator.
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LibraryThing member nancynova
Christian romance about 2 couples. The older married couple own a bookstore, called The Bridge. When it was destroyed in a flood, the owner gives up all hope. The younger couple met there to study together in college, until they drift apart and away from each other. When the bookstore owner is in
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an accident, the town alerts all frequent patrons of the bookstore to lend a hand, which lead the young couple back together again.
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