Title: The Bridge
Author: Karen Kingsbury
Rating: Book 3 stars, Movie 5 stars
Reviewer: Jennifer

Karen Kingsbury is at the top of my favorite authors list. She is one of the few authors whose books I’ll buy on release day. So I read The Bridge when it released in October of 2012. I hate to admit I didn’t love it as much as her others. Especially after loving its prequel, The Beginning.

The Beginning is an eShort that tells the story of Charlie and Donna Barton and their bookstore, The Bridge. In these few pages Kingsbury sucked me right in and had me in tears and greatly anticipating the release of The Bridge.

The Bridge introduces us to Ryan Kelly and Molly Allen. The Bridge is where Ryan and Molly spend a lot of time together after meeting in college. The connection I felt with Charlie and Donna I never felt with Ryan and Molly. While I enjoyed the story I felt something was missing. It took me awhile to figure out what that missing piece was. I didn’t feel God in the pages. Karen Kingsbury is the author of Life-Changing Fiction books. Every Kingsbury book I have read has been very much about prayer, seeking God wisdom, etc. I have always loved Karen’s very in your face writing about God and seeking a relationship with Him. That element was missing from The Bridge in my opinion.

When I heard that the Hallmark Channel was going to air The Bridge I’ll admit I wasn’t over the top excited. The movie premiered December 6th on the Hallmark Channel and I LOVED it!! It was fantastic!! It stars Ted McGinley (Charlie), Faith Ford (Donna), Wyatt Nash (Ryan), and Katie Findlay (Molly). I was invested in each character and their story. I might even have shed a tear or two 😉 The movie gave me the more in-depth feel I was looking for with Molly and Ryan. Gosh, I had butterflies watching some of their scenes.

My friend Angela said this about the movie …

The Bridge reminds me of Helen Keller’s red-letter days, when we meet someone who changes us, who swoops in magically and influences our direction. I identify with Molly and Ry, feeling wistful gratitude for having met those special people, though I may never see them again.

How does the movie compare to the books? Having recently re-read the prequel, The Beginning, that is freshest in my mind. There are some slight changes. Like the year it happens in the book vs. the movie. From what I can remember of The Bridge I believe the movie is sticking very closely to how the book was written.

For a little fun while you’re watching the movie. Look for cameos by Karen, her son Ty and several of her books.

The Bridge movie isn’t finished yet. Part 2 will air on the Hallmark Channel in December 2016. I know! I know! It’s a long time to wait. Look at it this way. If this were a book in a series we would wait months for the next book. Patience, my friends, patience.

And if you missed the premiere don’t worry! The Bridge will air again on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries channel.

Run out and find the book. Watch the movie. I think it will be time well spent. Seeing the movie has inspired me to re-read the book.

***UPDATED 12/12/15***

Seeing the movie lead me to re-read the book. I’m glad I did. I enjoyed it much more this time. I’m changing my rating from 3 stars to 4 stars.

The book is still a lot shorter than a usual Kingsbury book and I still wish there was more story for Ryan and Molly. But this time I did find God in the pages. As I read it this time I often wondered how I missed Him the first time.

If you’re looking for a short Christmas story about lost love and second chances check out The Bridge.

***UPDATED 2/5/16***
The Hallmark Channel has announced that The Bridge Part 2 will air this March. For full details check out this post.

***UPDATED 4/2/16***
You can find our review of The Bridge Part 2 here.

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