THE BRIDGES BEFORE US
by Christine Ardigo
Stifled by her narcissistic mother, twenty-four-year-old Samantha Hart is tired of putting her life on hold. Determined to find her own happiness, she volunteers within the community. Who’d ever guess her good deeds would land her in trouble? Frustrated and at a loss, Samantha decides a walk on the wild side might do her some good.
Intrigued by the scandalous lifestyle of her dynamic coworker Cara, Samantha attempts to transform herself into Cara’s sinful image. But, as she finds her new path meaningless and hollow, she looks for someone with better judgment to steer her in the right direction, and it’s someone she least expects. Can Samantha trust a man who hates everything about her, or does he see beneath the bad girl façade?
A romance like no other, The Bridges Before Us, teaches us to love ourselves, embrace who we are, and never change for the sake of pleasing others.
**Can be read as a Stand Alone or part of The Fix It or Get Out Series**
This is Ms. Ardigo’s third, and last, book in The Fix It or Get Out Series,. and like the other two stories, this one is filled with memorable, well-developed characters. You can read my review of Cheating To Survive here, and Every Five Years here. Samantha Hart’s character was very relatable to me, as I also grew up with low self-esteem. The unwanted child in a family. But Sam also had the burden of still living with a mother who inflicted nothing but guilt on her daughter.
Questioning her pathetic existence, envying her supposedly best friend’s life, Sam starts emulating Cara’s lifestyle, which leads her into some really bad choices. Like Lou and Bruce, you’re typical one-night stand mentalities. Thinking sex is the only path to love, Sam ultimately realizes her decisions have led to a bad reputation, and she’s just as unhappy if not more, than she was before. Deep down inside, she knows she’s not being true to herself.
Then Cooper gets hired as the manager for the hospital’s kitchen where Sam works. I really liked his character too, as he also had his own baggage, trying to please everyone but himself. His concept of what bridges mean was quite inspirational.
Every good story must have conflict, and this one has plenty. Between Lou, Bruce, Cara, Cooper, Rosyln, and her mother, Sam is always butting heads, trying to find her place. But her worst enemy is herself. Cara is a strong secondary character. I came to hate her, pity her and then wept for her at the end.
What I didn’t like: sometimes there were antics Sam did I just couldn’t see someone her age doing. Like stuffing her face full of food and taping her mouth shut. To me, these seemed contrived and unrealistic.
I recommend this book for anyone who loves chick lit and lots of drama. I give it 4 feathers.