A Bridge For Christmas

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 10 Aug 2018

Member Reviews

This is a book for dog lovers! Dave has settled in a small rural town with his wife.  Unfortunately, his wife dies soon thereafter, setting Dave adrift.  He is unsure of what to do, where to go, or how to replace what he senses is missing from his life. Enter two fantastic dogs, both of whom have the keen sense of what to do and when to do it.  These two dogs bring new meaning to Dave’s life, and he manages to trudge on along.  One day, and older female neighbor calls Dave complaining about some dogs, who are howling all night, keeping her awake, asking for his help. Going over to her house, Dave picks up the dogs and begins the long journey to find them homes or, at least, keep them alive. Knowing she is heavily involved in an animal rescue underground operation, Dave calls Gwen, who sets into motion a dog rescue for the pair, whom Dave places temporarily in the local animal control facility. At the same time, something mysterious and onerous is going on the area.  Drugs have infiltrated the community, as well as dog knapping for the purpose of dog fighting. Naturally, the local law enforcement is aware of this and has issued alerts to all the locals to be on the look-out for things suspicious. The author had included one more item to pique the reader’s interest—and to give the book a catchy title.  The bridge that connects Dave’s rural area with the rest of the area has been washed away in a fierce storm, forcing the residents to take a more treacherous, snaking trail (that has been made into a crude road) to get out of the area. As can be expected, everyone hopes the washed-out bridge will be rebuilt or replaced soonest. The author has managed to tie all this in together into a fascinating holiday tale that will warm your heart as you read it—especially if you like dogs and dog stories.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, but I am a dog lover. I immediately fell in love with Dave’s two companion dogs as well as with the other dogs in the book.  They do take a prominent place in the story. However, I wondered about the author’s inclusion of the washed-out bridge and whether he included it to make this a nice holiday story and to get a neat title, as the story could easily have existed without this side item. Dave and the other characters in the book came across as true animal/dog lovers as well as good, country folk. I thought the element of romance inserted towards the end was interesting and wondered if the author has planned to make this book part of a series. I hope so, as I enjoyed reading it and would love more of the characters and, especially, the dogs. If you want a feel-good tale that is set around the holidays, this will fill your need. If you just want a feel-good story or a good one about dogs, I recommend it. I received this from NetGalley to read and review.
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As an animal lover I enjoyed reading this book. It's hard to believe that people treat animals so badly but it's a fact of life.  The characters in this book all work to help abused animals.  Set in the weeks before Christmas Dave is called by a neighbor to help with 2 stray dogs.  Gwen becomes involved and the young woman she is mentoring is along to help.  I think this paragraph from the cover blurb says it very well.  Along with key contributions by an Animal Control Officer, the High Sheriff, and several colorful mountain folks, A Bridge for Christmas is an intriguing interplay between characters whose life journeys have intersected in the most improbable ways. I received a copy of this ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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A Bridge for Christmas

by William Schwenn

The first part of A Bridge for Christmas is fairly easy going, setting the stage for a novel about a widower who shuffles through life a day at a time, apparently without purpose or direction. Dave finds himself adopting two dogs, and that one action changes his life. The plot progresses to include a low water bridge destroyed by flood, almost isolating Dave and a small group of his neighbors. There is also an introduction to several people with various approaches to animal rescue work.

Background set, the author William Schwenn picks up the pace, and Dave finds himself in the midst of a mysterious, secretive transport network for rescue dogs. Is the traditional North Carolina mountain community of Calvert County attracting a criminal element focused on dangerous drugs and horrible animal abuse? Will the Bear Creek Bridge be finished in time for Christmas relieving the residents of a one hour dangerous ride to get supplies and conduct business? Can Dave open up his heart to love again?

I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Brighton Publishing for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 4/5

Category: Literary Fiction

Notes: This book contains a number of instances of swearing.

Publication:   August 6, 2018—Brighton Publishing

Memorable Lines:

Dave knew and loved the nature of dogs—they’d forget all about this in a day or two, and move on. Life for them was a fresh adventure every day. Win some, lose some, get confused by some, but no worries—tomorrow will be another day.

Tough mountain boys, Dave thought, and smiled gently. They’ll go through women and wives with the wind, reluctantly trade in trucks, but give up their dogs?

He always found it necessary to remind rookies in his department after their first encounter with particularly nasty elements of the human race, “Don’t think about it too much. Let the Almighty take care of His job, and let’s concentrate on doing ours. We’ll be busy enough with just that.”
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I literally liked this book
  The characters are well developed and I liked the writting style.  The story was full of plot twist and I read till later than I should have.  Give this book a try, You will not be sorry
Thank you to the publisher and netgalley.  The review is my opinion.
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This book was a great read once I got into the book. There are a lot of twists and turns as the reader gets further and further into this book. I got really engrossed in each of the characters.
I really hope that the author writes a sequel to the book !!
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