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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Crossing The Bridge by Michael Baron

Crossing The Bridge by Michael Baron
Publisher: The Story Plant
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full (324 pages)
Heat: Sensual
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Camellia

Hugh Penders has been stuck in neutral for nearly a decade since his brother Chase died in a car accident. He carries with him two secrets that he has never been able to share with anyone: that he believes he might have been able to prevent the accident, and that he was deeply in love with Chase’s girlfriend, Iris.

When Hugh’s father suffers a debilitating heart attack, Hugh must return to the New England home he’s been running away from for the past ten years. One day, he encounters Iris – who has long since moved away – on the street. They begin a friendship and Hugh believes he’s falling in love with Iris all over again.

But the ghost of Chase haunts both of them. And when each reveals a truth the other never knew, their lives, their vision of Chase, and their chances for a future together will change forever.

Charged by the power of desire and the impact of loss, Crossing the Bridge is a soulful, romantic novel that will speak to you deeply.

This introspective, gentle story slips into the heart and settles in as if it has come home knowing it will find acceptance.

Hugh Pender, unable to settle in a job or in a personal relationship during the ten years since his brother Chase’s death, finds himself trapped, by a sense of duty, in his hometown where there is no escaping the past. How he copes is an emotionally charged day-by-day struggle that pulls the reader into Hugh’s world of deep introspection, his sense of guilt, and his denial of self. However, he keeps a secret buried deep in his heart—a secret that is alive and well but lying quietly biding its time.

Hugh’s hesitant reconnecting with the reality of life on more than just the surface brings him face to face with who he is, other than the brother of Chase who always made a room come to life when he entered it.

Iris, Chase’s girlfriend, fights her own demons about Chase’s death without a lot of success. She has a stable job, but her personal relationships have been less than successful. She also carries secrets deep inside her heart, some still bring pain, but one brings good memories that give her a sense of self-worth.

When Hugh and Iris reconnect, the past and the present blend as they struggle to find their way to peace with themselves and with happenings in the past that were not what they had one time appeared to be.

Michael Baron’s seductive, magical writing style lures the reader in. As he reveals layer after layer of emotions that control Hugh and Iris’s lives, he lets the reader vicariously experience the gentle peeling away of the protective layers to get to the core of the problem that has stymied their lives for so long. He creates a sedate world with no rip-roaring action but where lots of growing up takes place. His use of music and material values to enhance character’s personalities enriches and dates the story. His use of symbolism is subtle but very effective in showing the characters’ growth and acceptance of life as it is and then moving on with anticipation rather than looking back. Redemption comes for both Hugh and Iris. Along with it comes a bonus of future happiness.

Baron’s exquisite writing is a joy to read.