Bridge to Haven: A Novel (A Riveting Historical Christian Fiction Romance Set in 1950s Hollywood)

by Francine Rivers

Hardcover, 2014



Call number



Tyndale House Publishers (2014), Edition: First Edition, 480 pages


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.… (more)


Original language


Physical description

480 p.; 9.25 inches





User reviews

LibraryThing member busyreadin
I love River's modern day books. She has such great characters! This is based on The Prodigal Son, and touches on the life and challenges of a teenaged girl who has never felt loved or wanted, and the path she chooses.

The book brought me to tears, and that rarely happens to me anymore.
LibraryThing member delphimo
Francine Rivers writes lengthy novels, but the language is simple. So many of her stories involve a young girl who rebels and makes a wrong decision, and must find her way back to redemption. The outcome ends with happily ever after. The story is interesting, but trite, at times. The characters
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lack depth and emotion. The chapters devoted to turning Abra into a star display the hard work necessary to succeed in Hollywood, but is the work worth the reward? An interesting concept.
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LibraryThing member vintagebeckie
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
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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.
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LibraryThing member sparkleandchico
I only made it a third of the way through this book. I stopped reading due to the sexual content--an extremely detailed bedroom scene which was effectively a rape as the victim had expressed that she didn't want to participate.

I have read some great books by Rivers and others that I really didn't
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like recently. This was probably the worst in terms of the graphic detail and I don't understand really why she included it. She managed to do a great job in The Atonement Child, which also has a rape scene, of dealing with the matter sensitively whilst still telling the story and without the graphic detail. But unfortunately Bridge to Haven is a definite fail.

I also was a little uncomfortable with an "innocent" romance developing between two of the main characters because although they were not biologically related, they had grown up in the same household and must've known each other as brother and sister from a young age. The scenes where the male party begins to experience lustful feelings towards the girl were a little weird given the original nature of their relationship. Also, the descriptions of them were again quite graphic.

I can't comment on the Hollywood storyline as I didn't read that far but others reviews state that it involves strip clubs and the like. If that is the case, then judging by the graphic details that I have already endured, I'm glad I stopped reading when I did.

I don't recommend this book due to the graphic sexual content.
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LibraryThing member debs4jc
Abra's life has been a struggle since the day she was born. Abandoned by her birth mother under a bridge, Abra's life was saved by Pastor Zeke. Pastor Zeke and his wife adopted Abra and things went well for a while. But the Pastor Zeke's wife - who had been in failing health already when they
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adopted Abra - dies and Abra is left full of grief and guilt. Did the strain of caring for her help cause her adoptive mother's death? Then Pastor Zeke decides that he cannot give the time needed to care for Abra on his own, and sends her to live with another family. You can guess she is going to have issues after that, and indeed she runs off to the Hollywood area with a man who entices her when she is a teenager. Try as they might, the people who love her from back home can't track her down for a while. It isn't until she is discovered by a talent agent and turns up on the big screen that the realize what has happened to her. Will Abra ever return to them?
This was a good examination of the factors that might cause someone to become entrapped in an abusive relationship, as Abra does with the men who are only after her for her beauty and talent. There was a nice contrast as the people who truly loved her for who she was were eventually able to break through to her and help her see that she was already loved (by them as well as by God) and did need to go looking for it elsewhere. Definitely work the read, it's an engaging and eye-opening story.
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LibraryThing member HeatherLINC
This was a disappointing read after some of the other books I've read by this author. I found Abra to be frustrating and cowardly, unable to stand up for herself against some of the men in her life, and she spent way too much time feeling sorry for herself without doing anything about it. While I
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struggled to connect with Abra emotionally, Joshua on the other hand was just too perfect to be believable. Also, I was hoping to be transported to 1950's Hollywood with all its glitz and glamour, but this part of the story was glossed over except for some name-dropping here and there. Finally, the book spanned twenty-three years, lacked depth and stalled, almost to a stop, in the middle. As for Susan, I knew who she was the moment she entered the story, so the 'big reveal' at the end was ho hum.
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LibraryThing member clamagna
This one is a coming of age and coming to faith story. I read it a while back, but I remember that it is set in the 1950s – the golden age of Hollywood. Pastor Ezekiel Freeman finds an abandoned baby under a bridge in the small town of Haven - and it’s her story - Abra’s. She grows up in
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Haven and becomes a beautiful young lady - but due to abandonment issues, she is vulnerable and easily manipulated. She gets talked into going out to Hollywood to become a star. It’s a tough story because she goes through a lot in Hollywood that is pretty dark. If you read it, be prepared for that. Her closest friend, the pastor’s son Joshua, back in Haven knows and loves Abra for who she really is… beneath the Hollywood persona. Will she ever be able to make it back home? Will she learn that God loves her no matter what mistakes she has made and she can still go to Him?
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Media reviews

First of all, I have to say I love all books by Francine Rivers and I became a member of Library Thing just because I needed to give my review of this book. Atonement Child, Redeeming Love and some other books from like writers spoke volumes to me. I had to study and pray on Ezekiel 16 after
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reading Bridge to Haven. The girl Abra spoke to my heart, but Pastor Zeke reminded me of God's undying love. I saw from Ezekiel a faithfless bride just like Abra Matthews and a covenant keeping God, one whose mercies endure forever just like Joshua and Zeke. Oh I loved Mitzi, she was so invested in Abra. I see a lot of young men like Dylan once in a while and I don't keep quite about it. Francine has a way of beautifully telling stories and still sharing God's word and his love, she does the same in this book. I have read her books for years and I have never been disappointed. I pray you find this book and allow the Holy Spirit speak to you as you read.
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