2 reviews

Bridge to Haven
by Francine Rivers

Published: 2014-04-22
Hardcover : 480 pages
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Recommended to book clubs by 2 of 2 members
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 ...
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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. She has burned every bridge to get exactly what she thought she wanted. Now, all she wants is a way back home.

In this riveting and highly anticipated tale of temptation, grace, and unconditional love, New York Times best-selling author Francine Rivers delivers big-canvas storytelling at its very best.

Editorial Review

No editorial review at this time.


Filling his lungs with cool October air, Pastor Ezekiel Free-man started his morning vigil. He had laid out the route on a map when he first came to town. Each building brought peo-ple to mind, and he upheld them before the Lord, giving thanks for trials they had come through, praying over trials they now faced, and asking God what part he might play in helping them. ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

1. The bridge to Haven figures prominently in the story: Abra is born—and
abandoned—under the bridge. Pastor Zeke finds her there. Abra crosses over
the bridge to leave, and later to return. Joshua brings her as far as the bridge,
and Zeke is waiting for her there, but Abra has to decide to cross the bridge
herself. Eventually she is baptized under the bridge. Discuss the symbolism of
the bridge to Haven. Who—or what—is the bridge? What are some bridges in
your own life? Are you eager or reluctant to cross them? Why?

2. Pastor Zeke gives in to Marianne’s pleas to take the infant Abra home, even
though he knows it’s dangerous. Do you think he made the right choice? Why or
why not? Do you believe it’s important to distinguish between God’s leading and
our own desires? If you do think it’s important, what are some ways we can do

3. Peter and Priscilla Matthews want to adopt Abra from the start. Why do you
think they are prepared to love this abandoned baby? In what ways do they show
their love for Abra, both as a child and as a rebellious young woman? What
mistakes do they make? Is there someone in your life who causes you the kind of
heartache Abra caused her adoptive family? What are some of the ways you
have coped with that relationship?

4. After Peter and Priscilla adopt Abra, she watches Zeke from her bedroom
window and prays that God will give her back to him. Convinced that God has
refused to answer her prayer, she turns her back on Him for many years. How
and when is her prayer eventually answered? What prayers or dreams in your life
have seemed to go unfulfilled, maybe for years, before finally becoming reality?
What prayers or dreams are you still waiting to see fulfilled?

5. Mitzi is a stable force in Abra’s life, a loving friend who is always honest with
her. Did you have a mentor like that when you were growing up, or do you have
one now? If so, what is the most important thing your mentor taught you? Is there
someone in your life—a child or a young adult—for whom you can be a godly
mentor? What would that involve?

6. Joshua, a man of peace, is deeply scarred by his experiences in the Korean
War. Today we would call his condition PTSD. How does his emotional state
affect him when he returns home? How does it impact his relationship with his
father? With Abra? Is there someone in your life who struggles with PTSD? What
are some of the ways we can help people in this situation?

7. As soon as he meets Dylan Stark, Joshua sees him for what he is. But he isn’t
able to persuade Abra to stay away from him. Could Joshua—or Zeke or Priscilla
or Peter—have done something different that would have been more effective?
Have you ever seen a loved one heading down a path you didn’t agree with? How did you handle it?

8. Part of Abra’s reluctance to return home, even once she realizes that running
away was a mistake, is her fear of what people will say. Do you think her fears
are founded? Has there been a time in your life when you struggled to make the
right choice for fear of how other people would react? How did you handle it?
What advice would you give to a young person in Abra’s situation?

9. As a teenager, Abra tells Joshua, “I can’t remember a time when I haven’t felt
like I wasn’t enough.” Why do you think she feels this way, when she is
surrounded by people like Pastor Zeke, Joshua, Mitzi, and the Matthews family—
all people who love her? What is missing? Have you ever felt this way? How
have you tried to fill that need in your own life?

10. After Abra runs away, Joshua feels the need to pursue her. But Zeke
repeatedly tells him that maybe the best thing he can do is let go of her. Did you
agree with Zeke’s advice? Have you ever had to let go of someone or something
—like a dream? What was the result? How do you know when it’s time to keep
pursuing something or time to let go?

11. Franklin Moss asks Abra what she wants, and she says she wants to be
“somebody.” What do you think she means? Why does she feel that way? What
kinds of things does she think will help her achieve her goal? What do these
things really end up giving—or costing—her? In what ways have you, or
someone you love, chased after things you think will satisfy you? In what ways
were those things fulfilling? In what ways did they leave you empty and

12. Is Abra to blame for Franklin’s suicide? If she had not left the note for him, do
you think things would have turned out differently? Are there things you have
wished you could take back after you saw the effect they had on someone else?

13. As Joshua points out, it seems providential that both he and Abra end up in
Agua Dulce at the same time. Can you point to an instance in your life like that—
something that was so coincidental you couldn’t help but see the hand of God at
work? Why is it easier to see God’s hand in our lives in retrospect than to trust
that He’s leading us in any given moment?

14. When Abra reads the Gideon Bible in her motel room at Agua Dulce, she
seems only able to focus on the verses that confirm her guilt and sin. If you could
sit down and talk with her at that moment, what would you tell her?

15. When Joshua brings Abra home to Haven, Zeke is praying on the bridge,
almost as if he is waiting for her. How did that scene make you feel? Have you
ever experienced a similar situation, either in Abra’s or Zeke’s position?

16. Joshua is the only man who has ever loved and desired Abra as God intends
for a man to love and desire a woman. What are some examples that show how
his love is different from the ways Dylan and Franklin felt about her? Are there
people in your life who love you in a godly way? Are you able to love others like

17. What do you imagine will happen to Susan Wells after the conclusion of the
story? Do you think her life will be different when she starts over somewhere
else? Should she have stayed in Haven? Why or why not?

18. Each of the main characters in the book has a unique struggle: Zeke has to
give Abra away; Joshua has to let Abra go; and Abra has to decide whether to
return. Which character do you most identify with? Why?

Suggested by Members

If made into a movie, who do you think should play each character in the book?
Who did you get most up-set or frustrated with in the book and why?
Do you feel that, even if everything is going well for a person, one event can really be life-changing?
by cherylwilliams5 (see profile) 03/02/16

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

No notes at this time.

Book Club Recommendations

Bridge to Haven
by cherylwilliams5 (see profile) 03/02/16
The book calls for CA food snacks: artichoke dip, crab dip, pita chips, fresh fruit, CA wine, and/or lemonade. Decorate with CA items: flag, beat, fresh fruit, sun shades, retro movie posters. Have Elvis or the Beach Boys playing as the guest arrive,

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
  "Bridge to Haven"by Cheryl W. (see profile) 03/02/16

An easy read, borderline frustrating. A little predictable.

  "Bridge to Haven"by Jane K. (see profile) 02/20/16

Enjoyed the book and it's reference to the Bible. With the highs and lows of the characters, the book basically held to my personal beliefs of do the right thing and forgiveness is always the path to follow.... (read more)

by Nora T. (see profile) 02/20/16

by Virginia L. (see profile) 06/29/14

by Teresa S. (see profile) 06/29/14

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