The Bridge To Belle Island by Julie Klassen is a fabulous Christian historical crime novel that I just could not put down.
The action is set in the early nineteenth century in London and on the fictional Belle Island near Maidenhead. The air in the capitol is polluted in both physical and spiritual terms and is in sharp contrast with the fresher air and sunny personalities on Belle Island. Lives live here in community in contrast with the isolation of London.
After crimes are committed, a young lawyer seeks the truth. The truth will always set us free. Lies will imprison us. Sometimes it is the lies we tell ourselves in our minds that build up psychological walls meant to keep us safe but actually trap us.
Events in the past loom large in the present as lives pinpoint backwards to a moment in time. Old insecurities must be faced and dealt with.
There is the theme of forgiveness. If we do not forgive, we risk becoming bitter and carrying a burden that was never meant for us.
The theme of trust looms large. Suspicion lurks around every corner as we wonder who committed the crimes.
A character really wants to trust God. “She did not trust Him (God) with the lives of those she loved… She wanted to trust, but fear and worry… won out.” We need to take a step of faith and trust God, putting our fears and worries aside. When fear and worry darken our lives, we must face them with prayer. “Reminding me not to worry but to pray.” Prayer changes everything.
Julie Klassen has created a marvellous plotline that kept me glued and guessing. I always love her novels and her eclectic mix of characters.
The Bridge To Belle Island is a quintessentially English novel. As I live in England I appreciated the quality of the landscape as well as the artistry of the writing. It was simply marvellous.
I received this book for free. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.