FICTION

The Secrets of Love Story Bridge

Park Row: Harlequin. May 2020. 336p. ISBN 9780778309789. $25.99. F
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Three years after partner Anita’s death, architect Mitchell Fisher copes with his grief by writing her daily love letters—or mostly updates about their plucky nine-year-old daughter Poppy. He’s still too guilt-ridden to open the note she left him on the morning of the accident that so unexpectedly took her life. For work, he removes the padlocks lining the city of Upchester’s oldest bridge, a job he should loathe but secretly relishes. One fateful summer afternoon, with steel cutters in hand, he sees a woman with an uncanny resemblance to Anita who fastens her own declaration of love to the bridge, then loses her balance, plunging into the river below. Jumping in after her, Mitchell saves her life, but once safely ashore is knocked unconscious by a cyclist, having never learned the alluring stranger’s name. His quest to find her takes the story in a surprising turn when Poppy’s offbeat music teacher Liza claims the woman is her estranged sister Yvette, who’s been missing for months.
VERDICT Tender but twisty, this fourth novel from British author Patrick (The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper) bears the writer’s signature for layered tales of finding family and belonging, as she skillfully reveals the hidden connections that bind the lives of these endearing characters together. [See Prepub Alert, 10/14/19.]

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