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Magic Bridge - a Review
It isn't your first meeting, getting married, or making love. It is the strength to do the hardest thing imaginable to ease the suffering of the one you love at the darkest moment of their life - Thomasina Burke
Magic Bridge, by Thomasina Burke, is a tale of love and romance, a tale of adventure and travel, a tale of honor and commitment. It will make you laugh. It will also make you cry a lot. Well, it made me cry a lot, especially the last part of the book. The book opens with Bridgette hiking up the Algonquin Trail. Someone riding a bike up the same trail crashes into her. Mountain bikes are not supposed to be on that trail! Bridgette is a nurse and also works with the local fire department, so she literally saves the life of the man who tried to run her over.
Bridgette, sexually abused by her father as a child, is anything but into dating and serious relationships with those of the opposite sex. Because of bad experiences with men, she prefers not to become romantically involved. But when Matt, the guy who tried to run over her with a mountain bike, appears in the bar she is a barkeeper in, feelings rise up that she tries so hard to extinguish.
What follows is one of the gentlest and sweetest love stories I have ever read. Never does he pressure her into anything. He allows her to guide their relationship from one level to the next. This wonderful man doesn't cure Bridgette of all her fears, but teaches her how to conquer them. Even though she has a fear of flying, he takes her places all over the world. They visit Ireland, Italy, Honduras, the Himalayas, Germany, and so many more.
Matt is a very athletic and serious mountain biker, while Bridgette loves to hike arduous trails. It is a total shock to them when he is diagnosed with cancer. This does not stop them from traveling, though.
I think their trip to the Himalayas is my favorite. Matt rides the Himalayas with his friends, while Bridgette, who learns that she can actually survive without Matt, goes on a hiking tour. There are an assortment of people of all ages and from all over the world in Bridgette's hiking group. They reminded me of the various people who would make up tour groups in an Agatha Christie novel. There were an octogenarian from Poland, a young married couple from Brazil, two female teenagers from Australia, a middle-aged married couple from Canada and their rather obnoxious 12-year-old son.
Matt and another couple guys from his group are biking up a trail in the Himalayas that isn't part of the tour when an herd of goats comes from out of what seems like nowhere and crosses in front of them. Matt hits and kills one of the goats and is thrown from his bike. He is injured, especially his sore arm, and must stay with the family that owned the goat he killed while his two companions go to bring back help. Matt befriends the small boy who was shepherding the herd of goats and is sorry to leave him when the two companions come to accompany him back to the rest of the group.
A while after they return home, they discover that Matt's cancer has returned with a vengeance. Bridgette nurses and cares for him as long as she can, but Matt is in so much pain and is barely hanging on. She lets go of him when the hospice nurse tells her that he is holding onto life for her. Now begins the story of Bridgette's journey to freedom. This is where the tears really begin. Now it is up to her to keep the promise she made to the one true love of her life to scatter his ashes all over the world, in the most meaningful places they had visited together.
I hid and cried as I experienced how Bridgette went to their favorite places to scatter his ashes, how she made new friendships, how she discovered the tragedies that had happened and almost turned back, how she experienced joy and formed new stong bonds with those that had been their friends.
Thomasina Burke has really written a very emotionally moving novel, a great feat for an author's first published book. This book is written with intelligence and clarity. A book I didn't really know whether or not I would enjoy has turned out to be one of my favorites.
This book was sent to me free of charge by the author. If you would like to purchase your own copy of this really great book, I have provided an Amazon link below. Warning if you don't like to cry or become emotionally involved with the characters of a book, if you don't want to experience the journey of a lifetime, you might not want to read this one.
Content copyright © 2013 by Lisa Binion. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Lisa Binion. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Lisa Binion for details.
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