Thursday, May 14, 2020

The Secrets of Love Story Bridge by Phaedra Patrick

I do enjoy Phaedra Patrick's novels. The best way to describe them is that they are "gentle" reads. That's just what I needed when I picked this one up. No murder plots, no violence; just easy reading that relaxed me at night. 

This novel begins with Mitchell Fisher. He's raising his young daughter Poppy on his own, after his partner Anita died years before. He's still grieving, and the only way he copes with it is to be super organized and to write a letter to Anita every night before he goes to sleep. He keeps the letters tucked in a drawer next to his bed, along with the last letter Anita wrote him just before she died. He hasn't been able to bring himself to open it and read it because he's afraid of what it might say. 

Mitchell works for the city cutting locks off a popular bridge. It's a big deal for couples to put locks on the bridge and toss the keys into the river below. However, this is causing stress on the bridge--there are thousands of locks!-and Mitchell's job is to cut them off and send them away. He's a bit grumpy about all those locks. One day, he sees a woman attaching a lock to the bridge. She loses her balance and falls off the bridge into the river below. Mitchell jumps in and saves her, and becomes a minor celebrity. His mysterious woman disappears soon after being pulled ashore, and he's haunted by the mystery of her. 

His daughter Poppy is taking music lessons from a teacher at her school. Liza is a bright and breezy woman who has an interesting link to the woman from the bridge. As Mitchell gets to know Liza and they work on finding the mystery woman, he's suddenly starting to feel something he wasn't expecting for Liza. He's pretty comfortable in his stuck-ness. And Liza is nothing like Anita. Meanwhile, a reporter has put out a call for people to send letters to the "hero" Mitchell about their lock stories, and he's getting flooded with letters he just doesn't want. Yet when he does start reading them, he's touched by the stories people share about their lock on the bridge. Mitchell's got a whole lot going on emotion-wise. He's just not prepared for all of it. 

I'll leave the rest for you to discover. It's a sweet tale about learning to live and love again, and confronting the past even when it could possibly really hurt you. Mitchell is a bit of an old poop trapped in a younger man's body, but he grows on you. Poppy is a delightful daughter who is patiently waiting for her Dad to wake up. All of the characters in this novel are quite nice, actually. All are working on something in their lives that is holding them back. 

Rating: 4/6 for a sweet tale of love lost, love found, and living life with a whole heart. A charming tale. 

Available in hardcover, ebook, and audio. 


  1. This does sound like a gentle read, which is sometimes just what I want. Like you, I alternate genres to make a nice change of pace in reading.


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