#BookReview — Burning Bridges by Anne Krist
By Anne Krist
Consider the role of strangers in our lives. An unknown postman in Virginia hides a bag of mail one day. His simple action set in motion untold consequences for many others—strangers—all over the country. How many bridges were burned in that forgotten mail pouch?
Sara Richards’s world is rocked when three love letters from 1970 are delivered decades late. The letters were written by Paul Steinert, a young sailor who took her innocence with whispered words of love and promises of forever before leaving for Vietnam. Sara is left behind, broken hearted and secretly pregnant, yearning for letters she never received. Then he died. Now, years later, she discovers the betrayal wasn’t Paul’s, when her mother confesses to a sin that changed their lives forever. How can Sara reveal to Paul’s parents that they have a granddaughter they’ve missed the chance to know? Even worse, how will she find the words to tell her daughter that she’s lived her life in the shadow of a lie? Picking her way through the minefields of distrust and betrayal, Sara finds that putting her life together again while crossing burning bridges will be the hardest thing she’s ever done.
"Sara, you have to understand, Dad and I only wanted what was best for you. You were a child, a high school senior with a wonderful future in front of you. You'd been accepted at William and Mary. The last thing you needed was to get mixed up with a sailor who would love you and leave you. Which, I might add, is exactly what he did."
But that wasn't entirely true, was it? Paul Steinert did not leave Sara. He had not abandoned her as she had thought. Sara's letters had never reached him, and his letters had never reached her. Until now — a lifetime after she had given Paul her innocence and her heart. However, what good were the letters now? Paul was still dead.
Only now, when she realised the extent of her parent's betrayal, did Sara want to get in contact with Paul's parents. She had not before, fearing that they would try to take her baby, Paul's baby, away from her. But now Paula was all grown up. And Paul's parent's deserved to know the truth. Sara was done with the lies her parents had weaved.
Little did she know that when she finally reached Paul's parent's farm in Omaha that life as she knew it would be irrevocably changed forever.
From the discovery of first love in the '70s to the trauma caused when long-hidden secrets and betrayals come into the light, Burning Bridges by Anne Krist is the highly emotional story of Sara Richards and the man she had loved since she was seventeen.
Burning Bridges is raw, emotional and compellingly beautiful from start to finish. I was drawn into the drama, the protracted suspense of a lie that had caused so much damage to so many people for so long. The skillfully presented narrative and the almost lyrical prose made reading this book almost effortless, and it certainly made it next to impossible to put down. In fact, I read it in one sitting.
Burning Bridges is a romance that is a lifetime in the making. A love that was cruelly snatched away by those whose intentions may well have been good, but who failed miserably to calculate the magnitude of the effect their decision would have on their daughter. Thinking they were doing the right thing, hoping to avoid a scandal, they spun a truth which was as false as it was coldly calculated. Their first mistake was thinking that their seventeen-year-old daughter was incapable of knowing the difference between love and lust. The second was that they continued this fabrication of the truth for decades.
This book very nearly broke my heart. As Sara confronts the magnitude of the lie that has been spun, she feels a moral duty to try and make things right. To seek out Paul's parents and explain. To tell her daughter, Paula, about this other family she knows nothing about. But what Sara had not been prepared for was the reality. The truth behind the lie. The fact that she, in her innocence, should have tried harder, fought harder to find out the truth. All of which is inconsequential when she gets out her car and comes face to face with her past in ways she could not have possibly imagined.
Krist has not only given her readers a compelling story, but the characters themselves were endlessly fascinating. The protagonists in this story are the kind a reader roots for, and the romance is as swoon-worthy as it is passionate.
Sara really stole my heart. She has been forced to live a lie, and when she realises what her parents had done, she has to find an inner strength that she never knew she possessed to get through it. This emotional rollercoaster of a story utterly captivated me. I could not read the words fast enough. I could not flip those pages quickly enough. I became enthralled in the story that Krist has penned. Burning Bridges is utterly captivating from start to finish.
Burning Bridges is more than a romance book. It is a sweeping family saga. Paula, Sara's grown-up daughter, is also an integral part of this book. Like her mother, Paula is almost fearful of following her heart. She loves her long-term boyfriend Dan, but when he asks her to move to Chicago with him, she fears to leave everything that she knows. These insecurities and her discovery that her mother had lied to her made for a riveting read.
Burning Bridges by Anne Krist is a story of a love that will not be denied — that cannot be denied. Times does not change what the soul knew before Sara and Paul ever met. Their love is eternal, and they can weather any storm, any lie, to the very end of time if necessary. I loved every minute of this book. If you are looking for you next great romance, then look no further. Burning Bridges has it all, and then some.
I Highly Recommend.
Review by Mary Anne Yarde.
The Coffee Pot Book Club.
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Anne Krist is the “sister” to erotic romance author Dee S. Knight. She is quieter, more reserved, and certainly more circumspect about S-E-X then her wild and crazy sibling. Thus she’s more comfortable writing sweet(er) romance, where there might be a few sensual scenes, but no more than that. One thing about Anne: she’s not more romantic than Dee. They both write happily ever after endings and share the solid belief that love can last forever and beyond!