Bridge to Haven (Anglais) Broché – 22 avril 2014
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The story centers on Abra, a baby found by the river by a local pastor Zeke. For five years, she is raised by him and his wife, Marianne, with their son, Joshua. The book tells Abra's story of growing up. I don't want to give away any of the plot and details in case you do read it, which makes it difficult to write this review.
My issues with this book are different than what other reviewers have said.
My first issue is with Zeke's taking Abra home. I don't understand how it is wrong that he took her home. This part was quite confusing to me. His wife wanted her in their home. She had peace about it. Did he or didn't he? I think he vascillated, but he acknowledges that the other family wasn't ready to have another baby to take care of right then. How he discusses this later with Abra doesn't jive to me. He seems to contradict himself.
My second issue is when Zeke leaves his wife's room (he is a pastor!) and sees Abra in the hall. He said something that will scar her for life--honestly, it would scar anyone for life. He wondered if she'd heard it, but doesn't talk to her about it. Then, she's given to another family where she overhears several conversations about how "they just don't know what they're going to do about her". Yet, the characters don't understand why she doesn't trust anyone... why she closes herself off... really??? They should have asked! As a believer (which all of these characters were), they should have asked and cared.
Another issue I had was the unrealistic portrayal of what happens when a woman who has a brutal sexual history enters a healthy relationship. No, it is not suddenly okay. I have had several friends in this situation and usually--it takes years to form a healthy sexual relationship with their spouse.
Lastly, I was a bit surprised by how graphic Rivers was when it cames to the sexually intimate scenes. Though she is a "romance" writer, I have never seen her as such. She is one author I have upheld in my mind as portraying romance as a part of life, but not the center and I haven't felt like she went towards the Harlequin genre... until now. This book is more of a romance than her previous books (and more graphic about it) and that turned me off.
I still love Rivers other books, but I don't think I'll be reading this one again.
Skip this one and reread Redeeming Love.
I agree with what most other people are saying with the awarding of two and three stars. This story left me under-whelmed when I so much wanted to really love this story, but I just couldn't.
For a start, it seemed strange that Abra would be so scarred from the events of her childhood. She didn't actually have it that bad and yet such a big deal was placed on this, I kinda got it but not really.
In her most recent books, Rivers seems to get lost in the middle of her story. She has a beautiful writing style but I often feel like her plot stalls and the story suffers as a result. This story peaked at about the three-quarter of the way through mark when she returns to her home town with Joshua. Then the plot just goes downhill from there and the end just annoyed me! Why leave the small hanging story of Susan, why not just tie it all up nicely?!
It also confused me how a person who has suffered so much sexual assault could be able to enter into a healthy marriage so easily. Her childhood scarred her and took years to get over, but her traumatic assaults seemed to be dealt with so easily and had no big impact on her relationship with Joshua.
The more I reflect on the story, the more I seem to be finding issues! So many parts just don't stand up to scrutiny when you look at them in detail. For example, considering the young age she ran away from home, why was so very little effort made to find her? Why were the police not alerted? For people who said they loved her, the effort made to find her and bring her home did not measure up. And yes to what other people have mentioned - her relationship with Joshua is just creepy, why did no one even raise an eyebrow even to a brother/sister relationship turned romantic?!
I feel like the essence of the story is great but the parts that make up the whole were not well thought through and put together. It is a very flawed plot which makes me sad! I hope one day we do get another book of the Redeeming Love standard from Rivers.