23 May 2014

The Bridge Tender by Marybeth Whalen

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A surprise gift from her late husband will give a young widow the chance to do the hardest thing in the world... move on.

On their honeymoon, the new Mr. & Mrs. Ryan Shaw made a pact: No matter the sacrifices along the way, one day they would return to Sunset Beach, North Carolina - this time to buy their own home.

But that dream was not to be. A few years into a beautiful marriage, Emily is left a widow, heartbroken, and way past caring about anything.

Until a man approaches her, claiming to have something left to her from Ryan. Something secret.

Unsure if she can ever embrace a new life without her husband, but even less sure about continuing to stay where she is, Emily heads to the coast to keep her end of the promise she once made.

Without delay, she becomes immersed in the lives of locals, including the reclusive bridge tender with an unexpected past. As the community debates over building a new bridge, Emily must decide whether she will build a bridge of her own, one that will take her out of a painful past and into the new life - and new love - that her lost love made possible.

Marybeth Whalen’s newest novel, The Bridge Tender, is a charmingly sweet read. With a few moments that brought tears to my eyes and many more that made me laugh out loud, this story drew me in and would not let me go. Whalen beautifully explores love and loss and grief and hope, using the bridge as a central image to develop these themes. While I must admit that the intention behind the bridge metaphor comes across a bit overstated and obvious at times, I believe Whalen makes an important commentary on moving forward into the future - important to remember no matter the tragedies and trials of life. I enjoyed reading Whalen’s The Bridge Tender and would recommend it to anyone looking for an encouraging, heartwarming story. I am certainly looking forward to reading more novels by Marybeth Whalen. I greatly appreciate BookLook Bloggers for providing me with a copy of this novel and the opportunity to honestly review it. I was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions I have expressed are my own. (I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”)

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