Skip to main content


Advent Day 11 *plus* Literary Friday: The Bridge

Friday, December 11, 2015

Happy Advent Season, My Lovelies!  This year on my Advent Calendar I want to share Christmas traditions from around the world along with a daily scripture reading.

Today's featured tradition is from China.  Only about one percent of Chinese people are Christian, and it's ironic because so many Christmas trees and decorations are manufactured in China,  and the folks making them have no idea for what purpose they serve!  

A tradition that's becoming popular on Christmas Eve is giving apples. Many stores have apples wrapped up in colored paper for sale. People give apples on Christmas Eve because in Chinese Christmas Eve is called 'Ping An Ye' (which means quiet or silent night) and the word for apple in Chinese is 'Ping Guo' which sounds similar.

 photo 51cc6f83-bfdd-4d8d-9856-73423a798747.jpg

Hebrews 2:14-15

14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.


Literary Friday

This week I read The Bridge by Karen Kingsbury.  It is a Christian novel with a Christmas theme.  It is our book selection for our book club this month, and The Hallmark Channel has made it into a movie.

from Goodreads:

Number one New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury delivers an instant classic with this heartwarming Christmas story about a hundred-year flood, lost love, and the beauty of enduring friendships. Molly Allen lives alone in Portland, but she left her heart back in Tennessee with a man she walked away from five years ago. They had a rare sort of love she hasn’t found since.

Ryan Kelly lives in Nashville after a broken engagement and several years on the road touring with a country music duo. He can still hear Molly’s voice encouraging him to follow his dreams; Molly, whose memory stays with him. At least he can visit The Bridge—the oldest bookstore in historic downtown Franklin—and remember the hours he and Molly once spent there.

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 digital books. Then in May, the hundred-year flood swept through Franklin and destroyed nearly every book in the store.

Now the bank is pulling the lease on The Bridge. Despondent and without answers, Charlie considers the unthinkable. Then tragedy strikes, and suddenly, everything changes. In the face of desperate brokenness and lost opportunities, could the miracle of a second chance actually unfold?

The Bridge is a love story set against the struggle of the American bookstore, a love story you will never forget.

I want to preface my review with the fact that I rarely read Christian fiction.  I do read quite a bit of Christian nonfiction on a daily basis through Bible studies and devotionals, and I tend to be hyper-critical of Christian fiction.

I like The Bridge, both the novel and the bookstore.  I would love to have an Indie bookstore close to our home like this fictitious one located in downtown Franklin, Tennessee.  I love Franklin.  We lived in nearby Brentwood when we were newly married, and I went to graduate school at Belmont, so I enjoyed reading about Molly and Ryan's time at Belmont.  The flood in 2010 was devastating and so sad, but Franklin has bounced back.  One of the few problems I have with the book is the lack of responsibility shown by Charlie and Donna.  They had little savings, and even less insurance.  I also believe that if The Bridge was as special as it was depicted in the novel, then sales shouldn't have been that low.  In spite of the amazing deals and free shipping offered by Amazon Prime and the convenience of eReaders, people still like to buy local, and there will always be those of us who need the feel of a book in our hands (not to mention the smell of ink).  For these reasons, I have a harder time sympathizing with and relating to Charlie and Donna's plight.

I love Molly and Ryan's story.  They share a love for music and nineteenth century British literature, especially Jane Eyre.  Both quote the novel often which I find ironic because Jane is outspoken and speaks her mind.  Molly and Ryan are silent and do not speak up when they should, and this causes them both heartache.  

Told from multiple points of view (Molly, Ryan, Donna, and Charlie), Kingsbury gives us insight into what motivates these characters into making (sometimes) drastic decisions.  I was especially intrigued by Charlie's point of view.  Overall, this book's story is excellent and its Christmas message is sweet.  I also think it's a great read for anyone who appreciates special Indie bookstores, too.  

I must say that I am VERY DISAPPOINTED with The Hallmark Channel.  I couldn't wait to watch The Bridge, but it was only Part 1 will be aired this season.  We have to wait until Christmas 2016 for Part 2.  STUPID HALLMARK CHANNEL YOU ARE NOT MY FRIEND!

Here is the trailer for Part 1

What have you been reading lately?  I will not have a link party this week because I will be out of town at a horse show.  The link will be up next week, so I hope you'll link-up then!

Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill

1 comment

  1. I forgot to record it so now I am glad I didn't. The book arrived, and I will read it this weekend.


Comments are friendly!


I'm Ricki Jill. Welcome! I'm honored that you're reading my blog. I enjoy sharing my creative lifestyle @ The Bookish Dilettante. For more information about my blog, please read the Start Here page. Thank-you for stopping by, and I hope you'll consider following me via email.

Follow me on Instagram